How You and Your Small Business Accountants Can Keep Your Finances Organized

When you formulate your dream of opening your own small business, you probably do not consider the task of keeping records of all your finances. The stress that comes with organizing your books can be extremely overwhelming. There are plenty of small business accountants that can help and ensure all of your financial affairs stay in order.

If you would rather keep track of your own finances, these tips can also be adapted for your own use. However, keep in mind that professional small business accountants have the skills and education required to do this with minimal chances of error. The downside is that there is an expense that goes with hiring a tax expert.

The first thing that professional small business accountants do is keep all of your spending properly separated. What you spend on your personal needs is not to be mixed in with your business expenses. If you accidentally use your business credit card for a meal on family night, you can pay your company back. An expert will know how to properly record and keep track of this for you.

Ideally, you should keep all your bank cards separate. Have different accounts for your personal life than what you have for running your industry. This makes the job easier if you are doing the finance organizing yourself, and it also makes it simpler for your accountant. Considering tax experts usually charge by the hour you are going to want to make their job as easy as possible.

When you are keeping your own records, it is highly recommended that you set aside special time every week to get your finances for that time in order. This prevents you from becoming overcome with piles of receipts, invoices, and other documents. This works when you have a professional accountant as well because in the end, they will save time organizing for you, which in turn saves you money.

Keep a careful record of your employees, or make sure that your accountant does. The amount that you pay out for your labor in the form of your workers can be your largest overhead. When you are handing out raises, bonuses, and other incentives for good work, it can be easy to go over your budget if the records are not properly kept.

Your small business accountants know how essential it is to keep an accurate record of the amount of money that your company is spending. This means more than just looking at a bank statement. When they go over all of the money that is going out, including your cost of having a work crew, you will have a better idea of where you need to cut corners if your business is spending more than it’s making.

Lastly, to stay organized, you have to know who owes you. It may sound a silly, but it isn’t uncommon for small business owners to lose invoices detailing what customers owe. By not have these documents in order, you can lose out on big profits and not even know it. Small business accountants can also sort out all the details of what you have done for your customers so you can keep your accounts straight.

Whether you decide to take on these jobs on your own or hire one of the many small business accountants available, it is essential that the records all stay systematized. This is the only way you can make sure that you are running your company as efficiently as possible. You will have a much clearer idea of how well your business is doing and you will be less likely to make financial blunders.

Balanced Business Accounting otherwise known as BBA is conveniently located in Brisbane, Australia. The company is operated by a group of professional tax accountants that are prepared to offer services that are focused solely on the clients. The group of employees strives to fully understand every customers’ financial position while providing advice that is proactive. BBA does more than just process tax information. They also give accounting solutions, experienced advice, and expert assistance. The accountants here can do professional taxes, advisory and auditing, consulting, and bookkeeping. The qualified team can work with both small and medium sized businesses.

Effective Cash Flow Projection Every Business Owner Should Know

When it comes to business, one way to achieve success is through expert financial management or effective cash flow projection. According to most business experts, one of the reasons why businesses fail is because of the lack of expert financial management, hence, the running out of cash to keep the business running. It is very important that you know how to handle the finances of your business, so you will be able to fund the things that are essential to keep your business up and running. You should not just rely on profits and returns because these may actually take time. And since there are a lot of things that need immediate response, you cannot afford to wait for your profits before you can produce enough money to cover for such expenses. And so, you may need the help of business experts who are not only knowledgeable about cash flow projection and expert financial management but experienced ones as well.

The first thing that you will need to take note of is to be pessimistic. This does not mean that you should not try new ideas for your business to grow but rather check all the negative aspect first before calculating the results. Although it is really advisable to be always pessimistic when it comes to starting your own business and running it, it is also smart to be a pessimist once in a while just to make sure that you do not overestimate your profits or returns since this is what most business owners fail to recognize in their efforts to achieve their goals. They usually calculate their profits in a very positive way without taking into account some factors that may greatly affect the total profit value.

Another tip for effective cash flow projection is to talk to your accountant. Most business owners only hire accountants to keep their business records and to check if there are certain anomalies. Accountants are actually great at analyzing a business’ cash flow projection. It is a very smart move to get them involved in your business plans to they can actually analyze what needs to be done in order to achieve your goals without experiencing the lack of financial backup.

Tips on Completing Basic Bookkeeping for Any Small Business

As a business owner, it is common place to take care of all the logistics involved in running a successful company. This includes providing a product or service that customers want, hiring quality workers, and picking out the best location to run the industry. One aspect of operating a small business that many owners and operators do not consider is keeping track of the books.

Part of making sure that a company is running smoothly and earning money involves keeping track of all the inventory, profits, dividends, and other issues related to the money. This aspect of bookkeeping can be foreign to even the most experienced business owner. With a few simple tips and tricks, it can be much simpler to keep tabs on how everything is operating within your company.

Possess knowledge of all your cash. This a common bookkeeping account, however, it can be one of the most important to keep a record of. A lot of expert record keepers will actually keep two different journals when keeping track of cash. The two journals are labeled “cash receipts” and “cash disbursements.” Record all the cash going out as well as whatever cash comes in.

Secondly, if you produce products or services to your customers and you do not collect a fee right away, you have to have an accounts receivable record. You should have a file with all of the money owed to you buy customers listed and kept up-to-date. This way you will be able to collect your earnings in a timely fashion.

Next, think about all the inventory that you have. Even though it is already owned by you, it is the same as having money in your banking account. The items sitting on your shelf all have a value and you need to record what the worth is. To ensure your count is accurate, you should regularly check your inventory to make sure it matches up with your books.

When you owe money out for products purchased or services rendered by the company, you have accounts payable. This bookkeeping record show how much money you owe out, and it can ensure that you pay all of your bills on time. It also will prevent you from making mistakes like paying the same bill twice.

Similar to an accounts payable record you should be keeping a loans payable tab when you owe out funds for large purchases like land, equipment, or building space. It is essential you make these payments on time to keep your credit in good standing.

You should always have a precise count of both your sales and purchase records. This is how you can tell if your company is making any money. Whenever you sell something keep a record, and when you have to buy something for the company do the same. This can show how much money you are bringing in compared to what is going out. By doing so you can have a better understanding of your profits.

A few of the other records you should keep include payroll expenses, owners’ equity, and retained earnings. These notes, if kept properly, will be one of your biggest helpers when you want to make your business run as effectively as possible.

If bookkeeping on your own is out of the question, there are plenty of professional bookkeepers and accountants that are highly educated and knowledgeable in all aspects of keeping the records. These experts will take on all of your receipts, invoices, and other documents and organize them for a fee. The cost to have someone else do your books may outweigh the stress of trying to do it yourself.

Getting Financing for Your Business

We hear about venture capital firms and angel investors, but if you are the typical small business or a start-up, you are not getting money from these entities. They are looking for investing large amounts of money in exchange for a big payout. If you are the average mom-and pop business (or just starting out), where do you get capital to start, expand or manage your cash flow?

If you are just starting out, you have no collateral to give anyone in exchange for their money. You have an idea for a business and hopefully you’ve done some market research to establish that someone will buy your product or use your service. Most banks will not talk to you about a loan. You will be self-funding your business. Most start-ups raise cash through the savings of their owners, the credit on their credit cards and maybe re-mortgaging the house. Occasionally, you will get funding from family members and friends who believe in you and your idea. They will chip in, sometimes in exchange for an ownership interest, sometimes just with a promissory note.

There are online microloans (i.e., Kiva) and crowdfunding platforms ( i.e., Indiegogo and Kickstarter). But microloans carry high interest rates and crowdfunding platforms typically require you to publicize your need for capital. Who will you publicize your situation to? Your family and friends. If you have an exceptionally catchy backstory, the crowdfunding platform may do some publicity for you but mostly you are responsible for raising the money yourself.

But, mostly, new entrepreneurs bootstrap their financial needs. They either work at a job while saving money before they open their business or reinvest any profits to buy more inventory or pay themselves a salary to live on.

If you are an established business, and cash flow is a problem (customers are paying slower than you are paying your vendors), then you will probably seek a different source of financing. You should start by asking your vendors if they will extend credit (payment in 30-60 days). If that does not solve your problem, you can ask your bank branch manager (with whom you’ve developed a relationship) if your bank offers business lines of credit. If you have substantial accounts receivable (your customers are not paying their bills to you), there are factors which are businesses that buy your accounts receivable from you, at a percentage of what they are worth. You don’t get the full value of your work, but you do get some quick cash. You can also use your accounts receivable as the collateral for a loan. You can increase the number of owners of your business – exchanging a cash investment into the business for a percentage of the ownership interest. Since your business has a track record at this point, you may find it easier to persuade others to invest in your business. The Small Business Administration offers all types of financing assistance through its lending partners. You can also check with your state to see if it has any programs that help finance small businesses. You can use your personal collateral for a personal loan and then lend the proceeds of the personal loan to the business. Be aware that if the business can’t repay you and you can’t repay your lender, you can lose the collateral, so be very careful if using this source of cash.

With so much information on the internet, you may need to simultaneously explore more than one method of getting financing in order to raise the cash that you need. Use your team of professionals (remember your team of banker, lawyer, accountant, and insurance broker?) to help you find sources of financing. They may be able to match you up with a financing source that you don’t know. Good luck, there are new and existing companies that are surviving and even thriving these days. You want to be one of them, don’t you?

10 Sure-Fire Ways An Independent Contractor Can Save Money On Taxes

The tax laws are written by the politicians and they write IRS laws in order to tailor society in the manner they and their constituents want. This is something taught to accountants and tax preparers every tax season.

Politicians today want workers for the rich so that they can live in bigger houses and take vacations their employees can only dream about winning the lottery to get. Those who want to help others end up giving the taxes paid in by honest taxpayers to dishonest people, instead of those truly in need. However, you can help yourself to pay less tax and make sure your tax dollars go where it counts.

Big business and the rich spend money on accountants to figure out how to get around taxes and give to politicians to get what laws they want passed. As a small business person you get to take advantage of those same laws that the wealthy spend the big bucks to get.

Here are ten sure ways you can use the IRS and your small business to your advantage, just like big business, and pay less taxes.

Run a business bank account because depositing into your personal account leaves it open to IRS inspection. If you want to keep the IRS out of your personal account you must deposit all business money into an account only used by your business. That’s the way big business keeps the IRS away from their other money.

Don’t gift or donate, advertise instead. A business is only allowed one $25 gift per client, donations go on your personal form if you’re not incorporated, but you can expense all advertising done for your business right on your Schedule C. When asked to gift or donate, ask if there is an opportunity to advertise instead.

Never go without needed equipment in a business. Any necessary equipment is deductible, so buy what you need to make the most money. Don’t wait!

Travel is deductible too if you are going for business. Employ your spouse to work the booth at a convention and you’re both covered for the trip. What you do in the evening is your business as long as you both work the show.

Track every single business mile you drive. This is often a big deductible for a small business so it is important to consider every trip to the bank or post office, store, for supplies etc. Commuting miles are not deductible unless you’re going to your second job (which includes self-employment) and follow special rules. Learn whether or not you qualify.

Know what expenses are considered “normal and necessary” in your industry and track every business expense you incur that fits this category. You’ll miss less of what is deductible if you do. Any business expenses offsets your business income.

Spend money in the last few months of the business year on anything your business needs to get ahead. Do this and you will lower your taxes and get your business growing faster.

Anyone who is double dipping should be turned in and you should never add to their income. Dishonest people take their regular income from the taxpayers in the form of undeserved social security disability, tax-free income, free housing, earned income checks, tax credits, taxpayer-funded support, medical, etc. and double dip by keeping 100% of all income they make for themselves. People who lie about their income or the number of children they have so they can make the taxpayers support them are cheating you and making everyone’s taxes higher. An independent contractor pays 17% of their earnings into social security plus state and federal taxes. That means you can multiply a double dipper’s money by a minimum of two since they pay neither. These people steal from taxpayers like you, your spouse, parents, children and others, and many make more money than some of these people do. If every honest taxpayer turned in one or two of these dishonest double dipping cheaters we would have more tax dollars for those who really need our help. Use IRS form 3949a, it can be anonymous and you can earn a reward.

Invest money now for your retirement. Anyone can save money for retirement and most get an IRS deduction for any or all money saved. A business owner can set up a SEP and save 25% of their compensation toward retirement. That figure might be hard to give up now, but you’ll pay less in taxes if you do, and when you’re old you’ll have money waiting.

Go after the IRS to change the current tax laws to your benefit. There’s clout in numbers so you’ll want to join a group of like businesses before you start, but you should then work to have the tax laws changed in your industry’s favor. There is probably a group for business owners in your industry. Check there first. This worked for other industries in the past and it will work for you.

If you follow these 10 simple rules as an independent contractor, self-employed person or small business owner you will pay less in taxes. Skip one or two and you’ll pay more than big business does, and more than your fair share.

What Are Some of the Benefits and Risks of Clinical Trials?

Many people participate in clinical trials around the world for a variety of reasons. For those participating in early stage research, they could be entirely healthy but are looking to benefit from a financial reward or simply help contribute to the advancement of medicine. On the other hand, those who are ill could be looking for an alternative or complementary treatment for their malady.

For anyone who is participating in this kind of research for whatever reasons, there are several risks and benefits which should be kept in mind. These are important to know for anyone who is considering undergoing various treatments in the name of research, regardless of the stage of the trial and your level of health at the time.

Some of the main advantages include that it is possible that a treatment can have a very positive effect on the health of the participant. Indeed, for those who are suffering with various ailments the chance of a speedy recovery thanks to a newly developed treatment is very attractive. This is especially the case with more serious illnesses with lower chances of a positive outcome.

The reality is that when people are seriously ill, they will seek out various types of treatment that can help them overcome a potentially life-threatening illness. It is a natural solution to seek out trials, and although not all succeed, this is another ray of hope for those suffering from an illness.

It should be noted that a disadvantage is that not all the outcomes are successful, and that there can even be negative side effects to undergoing experimental treatment options. It can be discouraging when treatments do not work, although this can be made much worse if there are negative side effects to deal with as well.

As a result, if you do find a clinical trial that you are interested in, it is absolutely vital that you make sure that you talk extensively with the medical team and your doctor about undergoing such a treatment. Possible side effects and outcomes should be discussed in order to enable you to take the right next step in deciding if it is for you or not.

The next major advantage of taking part in clinical trials is that it will help you gain access to even more doctors and medical experts than you would otherwise have. This is because clinical trials are carefully monitored and administered by expert medical teams and physicians, ensuring that each participant receives the best care possible.

For this reason, it can be reassuring and encouraging for those who are suffering from various illnesses to be dealing with professionals who are experts in that particular area of treatment or disease. This expanded amount of medical attention is often a key driver as well in encouraging individual to take part in trials and is a significant advantage.

The disadvantage of this is that treatment may require a greater investment of time that your normal treatment options would. You may have to spend more time in hospital or being monitored that you normally would, which can significantly impact your day to day life.

You could also be required to be more meticulous with the dosages of medication that you give yourself and be required to stay in hospital for longer periods of time. If you are in individual who hopes to carry on living an active life while you recover from your illness this is definitely a disadvantage to bear in mind.

These are just a couple of the significant advantages and disadvantages of undergoing clinical trials for a certain illness or a disease. Indeed, some individuals may participate as healthy volunteers, in which case they will need to bear in mind that the negatives and positives apply to them too.

FOMAT Medical Research is one of the world’s premier medical research companies. It specializes in developing and managing clinical trials in South America as well as providing them with technology to assist their sites with their trials. FOMAT currently has its headquarters in the United States with regional sites in Ecuador and shortly in Peru and Argentina with English-speaking management teams, investigators and clinical coordinators working at all of their locations. The company’s international sites count more than 10 million patients many of which have not participated in clinical trials before

Why Playing By The Rules Is Important For Public Perception

No one likes a dishonest firm or entity. It really is as simple as that. Of course no one is ever squeaky clean and everyone is liable to make mistakes, but even if you’re teetering on the edge, you should ensure you’re always on the right side of the law and public opinion. In a world when phone cameras can make or break your reputation and every layperson’s opinion can be broadcasted to the world, playing by the rules has become more important than ever.

Maintain your public image:

When you do something wrong, it effectively obliterates from public memory all the good things you may have done before that point. It can be frustrating but as they say, ‘the rules have been put in place for a reason’. When dealing in business, it is essential to comply with all the set regulations and keep everything as above-board as possible. When you have honest and upstanding employees and management, this is no longer too much of a challenge. Ensure that honesty and transparency are some of the values your company and its employees cherish. Any public advocacy your company or firm engages in should also emphasise the same. Of course, it is not enough to simply say these things. It must be put into regular practice

Further your public image:

A positive public image can be furthered by constant reinforcement of your strengths and exemplary behaviour when it comes to complying with regulations. While you should not make a big display of how you’re following rules, as it is something you are expected to do, your public advocacy campaign can always imply that you do. For example, if a new industry regulation has been set that requires you to change certain practices, you can make an announcement about the new practices to be put in place in compliance with the regulations. Let us say there exists a hypothetical situation wherein the minimum wage for Class IV employees has been increased. You can send out a press release detailing your plan of action in accordance with the new regulation and also include the other benefits you have always been providing your employees. This not only sets you up as a good firm to work for as your employees have already been enjoying benefits but also as one that actively works to comply with regulations.

4 Basic Tips to Keep in Mind While Starting a Business With Taxis

Several business owners around the world feel that their company has the most lucrative business of all. Each business is necessary in its place and niche, and, therefore, one cannot be compared to the other. When it comes to owning transport and starting a business with it, it is important to be accustomed to the trade plans and how one can work on it to make it better with every passing day. Taxi services are one such business options that several people think of as it is considered to be one of the most lucrative opportunities in urban cities.

People use the services of a taxi to reach their destination safely just like they would have if they travelled in a car owned by them. It is unlike other public transport where there is a crowd, and there are chances of not being able to reach the destination on time. If you ever intend to start a business of your own and provide comfortable taxi rides to people, here are a few tips that can help you.

• Ensure that your car looks presentable to anyone hiring it. Your car should be spick and span to attract passengers and accordingly reach wherever they intend to go.

• Affix your car with the latest technology and gadgets like GPS, music system, etc. this would allow the passenger to feel safe, guide your driver to the right destination at the fastest time and entertain your passengers with good music.

• Allow them to book your services beforehand. You may have a fleet of taxis randomly allowing passengers to hire it. You could increase the prospects by having the right marketing tools and allowing them to book your services beforehand. They can give you a call or directly book online.

• Make it convenient for them to make payments as there are times when passengers do not have money with them and insist on making a payment with their credit or debit cards. Having a swiping device would allow them to make the payments easily. You could also make provision for them to pay online beforehand or after they have received the services.

While a person hires a taxi service, the first thing they expect out of it is comfort and fast services. Availing these services customises the travel and allows them to move wherever they feel like and not have to follow any particular routes, unlike other public transport.

Freightology: Freight Driven by Technology

They say good things come to those who wait. Well, we’re excited to let you know that the wait is over! In fact, the wait was over a couple of years ago but you just never heard about it. We’re here to enlighten you on some incredible advances in the Freight shipping industry that will make your life a whole lot simpler. You can thank us later.

Let’s face it, while most industries are evolving at a rapid pace, the freight industry is not one of them – at least that’s what most people think. Lack of information out there is probably the main reason a lot of freight forwarders have just given up and come to terms with the archaic ways of doing things despite it making life hectic and cumbersome. Here are some of the biggest challenges most freight shippers face today:

· Contacting a number of trucking companies to get a quote (high wait times)

· Comparing each quote to find one that meets your budget

· Inaccessibility of the driver once the freight is picked up

· Limited tracking for your shipment

· Miscommunication of critical information

All of the above can now be avoided because (drumroll please) there are actually automated platforms available in the market today that can do all of the above while making your freight life a lot more efficient, guaranteed. If you’re tired of the old brick and mortar practices in this industry then we can promise you that these platforms are going to be a godsend – you can hold us to that.

Check out some of the amazing benefits of these platforms below:

1. Quote Comparison and Real Time Rates

That’s right, no more rate negotiations! Common practice among freight shippers at the moment is to contact each and every individual carrier out there to try and get a reasonable rate. This is a taxing and a tremendously frustrating process and can be completely eliminated by using an automated platform. At a click of a button you can have access to rates from hundreds of carriers saving you tons of time to focus on other things. You know, like counting your money from all that extra business you’re doing. Automated platforms are integrated with various carriers, allowing you to see the rates in real time. That means what you see is what you pay (most times anyways!). This offers rate stability and very rarely would you see major price fluctuations.

2. Reverse Logistics

When purchasing products from vendors, common practice is to allow the vendors to ship them to you and then add the shipping cost to the final bill. Most times the vendors add a mark-up to this shipping cost (extra charge). This can now be avoided! Some automated platforms give you the ability to arrange your own shipping from your vendor. All you need to do is arrange a pick up from your vendor, print a returns label and send it to the vendor to use. This way you are in total control of how much you pay for shipping. Life changing I know!

3. Visibility

Like courier, wouldn’t it be amazing if we had total visibility of our shipments at all times? Well now you can. Just like automated courier platforms, freight platforms also generate a tracking number that allows you to trace your shipment from origin to destination. These platforms have very clearly marked transit times every time you make a shipment, allowing you to plan for warehousing space, docks, and everything in between.

4. In-house Support Services

Now, we know this is not exactly a necessity, but neither was the iPhone yet we still can’t live without it! In-house operations and customer service is kind of like the iPhone of the freight world. It is an invaluable resource when tracking just doesn’t give you that little nugget of information to calm your nerves about your precious pallet. This is just one example where a team of in-house experts can be very important. Let’s just put it this way: the in-house team is to the platform what Dr. Watson is to Sherlock Holmes.

5. Data Analysis Reporting

The ability to run customisable reports for analysis is another huge advantage with automated platforms. This is particularly useful for larger organisation with very high shipping volumes.

6. Centralized Billing

Imagine not having to deal with all those files, receipts, and invoices on a daily basis. Just the thought of it is music to our ears. Besides, no one else does it anymore so why should you? Well, some of the more robust platforms have very intelligently designed billing systems allowing shippers to receive one invoice for all their shipping – I bet Bernie from the accounts department will appreciate this (a lot!)

7. Coverage

Not many platform have services that span across the continent however, there are a few that offer services across Canada and USA. I don’t think we need to explain how incredibly useful this can be.

There it is, now you now know what you’ve been missing out on. More and more freight shippers are making the switch to an automated platform for convenience, speed, coverage and scalability and we’ve given you plenty of good reasons why you should too.