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What Type of Bookkeeping is Best for Business?

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Regardless of industry or number of employees, every business requires bookkeeping in some capacity. Larger businesses might employ one, two or even more full time bookkeepers, while smaller businesses may hire a part-timer to review the books once a month. No matter the business, it’s important that owners and managers understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to bookkeeping.While cost is always a dominant factor when choosing the bookkeeping process for a business, it is not the only one to consider – after all, businesses should not bank on a bargain when it comes to the person in charge of overseeing their finances. To better understand the different “types” of bookkeeping, here are three categories to consider:

1. Traditional bookkeeper

Whether your business is small or large, you’ll need to hire an experienced bookkeeper with a formal education and accreditations. Specifically, the bookkeeper should have substantial experience in business accounting, preferably in your particular industry. This way, you can rely on their previous learnings, which will allow for a shorter onboarding period.It’s important to consider the role a bookkeeper will play in relation to your business’s Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Typically, bookkeepers are in charge of processing an organization’s financial transactions and documents, including purchases, receipts, sales and payments. Those transactions are recorded in a ledger or journal. In addition to the daily ledger, most businesses use software, (think QuickBooks or Sage), to keep track of entries, debits and credits. Keeping two separate recordings, one manual and one virtual, results in a trial balance with a final total of debits and credits that match. The ideal bookkeeper, particularly those who are certified, will classify and summarize financial information into financial reports, balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.A CPA’s priority should be analyzing business processes and reporting, and providing advice to the business owner, especially for complex tax filing concerns. While a bookkeeper handles the businesses’ day-to-day transactions, the CPA will review and analyze the financials at specified times throughout the year. To ensure cohesion and integrity of the business’s finances, it is critical that the bookkeeper and CPA work as parts of a system.

2. Advanced bookkeeping technology

All businesses should implement some level of technology into the accounting workflow to lessen their financial and administrative burden. When considering advanced bookkeeping technologies, businesses must ensure that the technology works harmoniously across the board, while solving for particularly tedious tasks within the workflow.For example, one of the more time-consuming, monotonous tasks in the average accounting workflow is data entry. From invoices to expense receipts, businesses are flooded with excessive yet necessary documents on a daily basis. For more streamlined and efficient data entry, businesses should employ expense tracking and management technology. Proper expense tracking ensures that employees are getting reimbursed for their expenses on the job while maximizing tax deductions and protecting the business in case of an audit.To ensure the business’s expense management technology seamlessly plugs into their existing accounting workflow, owners and managers should be on the lookout for three features:1. Mobile capture: Bulky scanners are office gadgets of the past. In today’s business world, mobile apps and software can turn your smartphone camera into a mobile scanner, allowing business owners and employees to simply snap a photo to extract data points, like totals, dates and vendor names, and import them into the proper location.2. Integrate with advanced accounting software: Proper “locations” are often powerful accounting software, like QuickBooks or Sage. Through integration with the accounting software, the data entry process is not only streamlined, but ensures the correct information is being put into the correct data field.3. Cloud Capabilities: In today’s increasingly-connected world, business owners and employees need access to their most important business documents at all times, so it’s important that their expense management systems are connected to the cloud. In addition to ease of access, the cloud promotes a collaborative work environment and allows coworkers to always be on the same page.While most businesses use some combination of advanced technology and a traditional bookkeeper, those that are looking for a completely hands-off (and expensive) approach should consider a virtual bookkeeper.

3. Virtual bookkeeper

With the ubiquity of cloud technology and the popular practice of remote collaboration, some businesses are employing new virtual bookkeeping services. Virtual bookkeepers stand in as an entire outsourced accounting department for a business. With a team of bookkeepers, businesses have a unique system of checks and balances giving the owner peace of mind.  While they may lose the personal approach of a single bookkeeper, they can rely on availability and speed with multiple bookkeepers available at a moment’s notice.When deciding what kind of bookkeeper will work best, it’s important for businesses to realize that advanced technology can supplement (or even replace) certain aspects of the bookkeeping workflow. While a full-time bookkeeper can certainly manage the entire process, businesses that implement certain software can eliminate tedious steps of the process, saving time and money. By allowing technology to solve for menial tasks, business owners may be able to move to a part-time bookkeeper or even take over the role themselves.Each option comes with pros and cons, and it is determining the best fit for each individual business that is paramount.   Business owners and managers should keep their bookkeeping process current; both to the market and their businesses’ ever-changing requirements. There is always room for improvement, so constant evaluation and tweaking of workflows to ensure an efficient bookkeeping process, and ultimately, a better return on investment, should always be employed.
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sarah P

    November 20, 2018 at 5:07 am

    Great post. There are some valid points here and the most important thing to remember is that you should choose a bookkeeper that is well-suited to your business and your needs. If you’re an online-only business, you may find that a cloud-based bookkeeper is sufficient. By considering your own needs, you’ll be able to choose the right option for you.
    Keep up the great content!

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Business

Tips On Tracking Business Miles

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Are you one of those people who scramble around for auto deductions every time tax season comes along or do you avoid auto deductions because you think they are not worth the hassle?
Believe it or not, many businesses miss significant tax deductions simply because they do not keep up with tracking business miles. The good news is that tracking business miles is not a big chore. You just need a good system in place and tracking business miles is easy. Here are some tips to consider.

Use An App

Most businessmen use a smartphone and they have apps you can download to keep track of business miles. MileIQ, TripLog and TrackMyDrive are available for iOS and Android. Every time you take a trip, the app records the miles using GPS tracking and then allows you to classify the trips as business, personal, medical and other custom categories. You can also add additional details or purpose for the trips.

Daily Log

You can also use the old paper and pencil method by using a daily log you can keep in your glove compartment. The IRS wants detailed documentation so your logs need to contain date of travel, purpose (client name, meeting with supplier, banking, meeting with accountant, etc) and starting point and destination of every trip. You can also record the actual mileage if you want by taking note of the odometer meeting from the starting point to the end point.If you are only using 1 car for business and personal use, record the odometer reading at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year so that you can compute business use percentage.

Sampling Method

This method assumes that you travel almost the same amount for business every year. It also entails the use of detailed appointment books. Under this method, you keep track of your business mileage using a sample figure for a period and then use it to extrapolate your mileage for the whole year. You must keep a record of your mileage for the first three months for example and back it up with appointment books. You don’t have to use three months. You can use 1 week, 2 months or any time duration you think that best represents your business mileage for the year.

GPS Mileage Tracker

There are tracking devices you can install in your car so that it can keep track of business and personal miles. Using a Wifi system, the GPS device records driving and then uploads it to the internet so that mileage logs are created automatically. Some of them have business buttons you can push so that trips are set automatically to business. The IRS trusts GPS mileage trackers because they are usually tamper proof and backed up so that they can protect information in the case of an audit.Keep good records to maximize tax deductions that you are entitled to with the IRS. This way, you won't pay more than you owe and won’t get slaughtered by the IRS auditor.
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Business

Sleep Better With Tomorrow Sleep To Improve Work Performance

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tomorrow sleep
Our working life consists of long office hours to various days of sleepless nights. Tomorrow Sleep is a hybrid between traditional mattresses and new modern technology to help you through those rough nights. Tomorrow products are designed to help improve your wellness by fulfilling your sleeping experience. To ensure comfort and support, Tomorrow has enabled a combination between the temperature regulating memory foam with a stabilizing coil system to enhance your night’s sleep. With the additional sleep reports, bed warmer, smart alarm, and more, this mattress company has changed the sleeping industry for the better.
During busy hours, hard workers tend to forget about their well being once their mind is set to work. That alone may be desirable to entrepreneurs since it can boost productivity, however, it can be counted as the negative opposite. Sleep deprivation undergo all of these unhealthy habits. The average amount of sleep hours an adult needs in a day is in close proximity to 8 hours a night. The cost of poor sleep is not in the increase of productivity, but in the lack of quality. A lost in sleep reduces brain function, leaving you unable to produce decent work. The effects of lack of sleep on productivity is well recorded, negatively affecting work performance - productivity and quality. Without proper sleep, you will have more issues in concentrating, learning, and communicating. This can result in slower reaction times on problem solving due to memory lapses, or more noticeably, the moody and intolerant behavior. In an interview with Bryan Murphy, Founder and President of Tomorrow Sleep, he explains how with Tomorrow Sleep, the smart mattress can properly get you the sleep you need in order to be productive the next day. tomorrow sleep

What is Tomorrow Sleep?

Tomorrow, which launched in June, is a new sleep company that combines a direct-to-consumer ethos with 100 years of American manufacturing expertise. Leveraging the knowledge and research of industry leader Serta Simmons Bedding, Tomorrow created the first truly connected sleep system with smart technology designed to help you transform your sleep and achieve your deepest, most restorative rest, offered at an incredible value that wouldn’t be possible in traditional brick and mortar stores.

What is the company passionate about?

Tomorrow was founded on the principles of a well-balanced, healthy life. We believe overall wellness requires truly restorative sleep, and having the right tools makes all the difference and that sleep is a fundamental pillar of wellness. We’re dedicated to offering our customers a better tomorrow and our mission is to provide a holistic system of products that allows people to achieve their best sleep night after night, so they can be anything they want to be in the morning.

How is Tomorrow Sleep different from other mattresses?

It really boils down to experience, control and scale.  We have over a century of experience designing and engineering sleep products. Our own manufacturing, supply and quality operations here in the US produce millions of beds per year. Having this experience, control and scale allows us to invest in cutting edge, premium materials that deliver real benefits directly to our customer at a great price. As a result, we offer a premium hybrid mattress that’s designed with temperature regulating memory foam and a gently stabilizing, wrapped coil system, available at a direct to consumer price.

What started Tomorrow Sleep?

We saw that people are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of sleep as a cornerstone of wellness, however there wasn't a great solution to address that need in the direct-to-consumer space. We set out to solve two problems. First, by and large, most direct-to-consumer mattresses are made up of all foam and as such people complain that they lack support and sleep hot. Second, the bedding microclimate largely governs your ability to fall asleep quickly and stay in deep sleep. So, we set out to design a truly integrated sleep system that would help keep you comfortable, and give you the most restorative sleep possible.  We then paired that system with smart technology that allows you to learn how you sleep and help improve it.

What kind of special features are included to the products?

Tomorrow provides a totally new kind of hybrid mattress, combining premium temperature regulating memory foam with a gently stabilizing, wrapped coil system that offers the perfect balance of comfort and support. Our mattress has been expertly designed and tirelessly tested to ensure every coil in our mattress flexes separately to give you unparalleled head-to-toe support and the freedom to move, while our patented ventilated rail system helps maintain a well-balanced climate all night long.Additionally, our holistic system - which includes pillows, sheet set, comforter, mattress protector and Sleeptracker® monitor - was designed to work together with the Tomorrow mattress in order to help our customers go from restless to ready for a better tomorrow. Our sleep products are made from premium materials to create the ideal sleep environment.

Is Tomorrow Sleep trying to improve? If so, how?

We’re the first sleep company to combine a holistic approach with over 100 years of sleep experience, so we’re doing things differently from the start. We’re working to improve the mattress market as a whole by offering innovative products designed to help customers transform their sleep and achieve their deepest, most restorative rest.

How is Tomorrow Sleep supporting their customers?

Customer first is a core value. We’re giving our customers the tools to transform their sleep and achieve their deepest, most restorative rest. Having a direct and personal relationship to our customer through our direct-to-consumer model allows us to make sure they are happy with our products and helps us to innovate better and more quickly.

What should people look forward to when buying your products?

With Tomorrow’s products, customers will have everything they need to sleep to their full potential.

How important is sleep?

We believe that sleep is an essential and critical component of overall wellness, just as important as nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. Sleep has unparalleled restorative powers and when we get a quality night’s rest with the proper climate and conditions, we’re able to perform better.

Why do others need to be more aware about how they sleep?

Sleep keeps our daily performance at peak condition, and we feel it’s important to enlighten consumers on the benefits of getting truly restorative rest. The more aware people are of how they’re sleeping, the easier it is to improve and achieve the best sleep possible. Our Tomorrow Sleeptracker® monitor uses bio sensors to peacefully monitor and record sleep cycles, body movements and heart rate, and delivers personalized suggestions for better sleep.  Whether you’re in light sleep, deep sleep or REM, our Sleeptracker® monitor knows how much time you spend in each stage and offers feedback and tips to help you understand and directly improve your sleep.

What message are you trying to pass with your company?

Our goal for Tomorrow is to educate people on sleep’s role in overall wellness, and provide people with a holistic system of tools designed to help them live a better life, which we believe starts with a good night’s rest.
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Business

How to Build Your Own Startup

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Ever wonder how to build your own startup? The startup world is full of entrepreneurs who want to take their dream business from Point A to point B. Getting your business off its feet can be hard because many people are not equipped with basic business skills. In the startup culture, getting your idea to become profitable is the dream, and it's always a race to set it up. If you're thinking about starting a business, here are some tips to consider to get yourself going.

Network to build your own startup

Look for people who have "been there and done that". These people know what they are doing and can provide you with practical tips and advice on how to start. Also ask about mistakes to avoid and things to watch out for so you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Research Your Market

Market research can tell you if your idea is worth pursuing. Start your research by stating the problem and see if your business idea is the solution. Figure out how many people have this problem, and talk to them to see what they can say through a survey. Check out the competition to see how you are different and figure out how you can beat them.

Find A Mentor to help build your own startup

One of the best ways to start a startup is by finding a mentor that can guide you along the way.  Your mentor can be somebody whom you can bounce ideas off of. Mentors are some of the most important and valuable resource you can tap into. They can help you take your business from idea to success through their guidance and coaching.

Brand Your Business

Branding is not only about choosing a name for your business. It is about your business identity. Choose a name that conveys the idea of your startup or the problem it solves. By this time you should also have a domain name and have marketing materials ready.

Business Plan

A business plan is like a blueprint for your business that tells you what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it. Your business plan should also have an "attack" on how you can "battle" the competition. Determine what you want to accomplish with your business and steps on how you can get there.

Your Workplace

Where you decide to work has an impact on your startup. Some people choose to work at home to save money, while others rent space or share an office with other businesses. Don’t be afraid to experiment on locations for your workplace.

Accelerator Program to help build your own startup

Think about applying for an accelerator program. These are programs that provide startups with coaching, network or small investment to help the business take off quickly.  Take accelerator programs with a  grain of salt, because some of them will require you to part with equity.

Raise Capital

Capital for startups usually comes from the founders. Other startups get capital from venture capitalists, angel investors or loans. These investments can be a big help to startups. However, you should only take capital from sources that they understand. If you are raising capital from outside sources, figure out how much you need to raise and how it will affect your business.Having an idea for a start up is easy. The hard part is in-between the idea and success. For startups, it is crucial that their idea become reality as quickly as possible, since delays can kill the idea. While there is no wrong or right way to start a startup, following the above steps can help save time.
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