Image courtesy of Pixabay and edar

Image courtesy of Pixabay and edar

Your business’ financial picture is vital to growth and planning. As business owners, we invest a lot of time, effort and money on bookkeeping and accounting. Whether you do your own bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparations, accounting doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The good news is – you have options like using an online accounting software program, hiring an accountant, or even working with companies who provide tailored accounting solutions to your business operations.

After five years, I’ve experienced and researched and have the following insight to share about sticking by the numbers for your business, one way or another…

Online Bookkeeping
Does the thought of taking your accounting online peak your interest? In a world full of technology, an online accounting software program seems like an obvious and easy solution. After all, you can find almost anything you’re looking for online these days.

The online program that I personally am most familiar with and am also extremely happy using online is QuickBooks. QuickBooks allows me to handle all of my business needs in one place, including invoicing, payroll, bookkeeping, reports, taxes, and even client and vendor information. The best part is that I can access my records and books from my phone, tablet or laptop whenever I need to and I can give access to others when I need to. Other online services to check into are: FreshBooks or inDinero.

What to consider:
–       Do you need to create quotes, estimates or proposals?
–       Do you need to track 1099’s for contractors you hire?
–       Do you need to track inventory levels and shipping records?
–       How do you want to keep track of product sales?

Start by knowing your products, services, invoicing/billing needs, etc. Then, be sure to research your options carefully and choose an online option that can grow with you. Often times, I will recommend that startups or solopreneurs begin with a basic version of an easy online bookkeeping tool like those listed above. When the bookkeeping task becomes a distraction from your natural selling or production goals, it might be time to consider outsourcing!

Hiring An Accountant
Accounting is not a universal language. In my experience, it’s not always easy to find a bookkeeper, payroll agent and/or accountant that is interested in learning and understanding who your business is, what it needs to keep track of, and why. And even if they try, it often isn’t easy to keep them in the regular loop. So, discuss your system. How do you invoice each month, organize your receipts or how often do you process payroll or taxes?

There are so many different ways to setup and manage books that my first recommendation is always to find someone who is knowledgeable about various entity types. Are you a sole proprietor, LLC, or Corporation? Hiring an expert who has solid experience and background in various methods is always advantageous since often times our businesses grow and adapt over time.

Next, request references and then be sure to check them. While no one would provide a reference to a client that has not been served well, asking questions can be your way of eliminating a LOT of heartache right out the gate!

Questions to consider asking:
–       How long have you been in business? How large is your team? What is your vision for your company? – These types of questions will help you determine if they have experience, can call in reinforcements if and when you need additional support, and whether you will be their main focus or you’ll be managed by a team member.
–       What communication methods are you most effective using? – If they want to do everything by email and you want to be able to reach them by phone, make a decision if you share similar communication values.

If you are looking for a couple of great references in the Portland Metro area, I highly recommend getting in touch with one of the following associates:

–       Steve Abrew of Cascade Business Support (Lake Oswego, Oregon)
–       Tammy Flora or Bonnie Simovec of ROI Business Services (Clackamas, Oregon)

We have done business with both of these companies and each offers expertise and consultation that will help you make the right decisions for you and your business!

Tailored Accounting Software
When you have effectively outgrown your accounting software and it makes more sense to hire an in-house bookkeeper, it probably also means your company is in need of custom software that fits your specific business needs. You’d be amazed at how much value a tailored system can bring to your team’s morale or confidence, not to mention your business’ bottom line! And it’s not always a vast investment.

We would suggest checking out our friends at Telios Systems Company if you’re looking for a more tailored approach that can go beyond the limits of QuickBooks. They are strategic system programmers and caring and honest business builders, with a heart to support companies in being their most effective!

What accounting solutions have you found to be best for your company?  Do you have any accounting advice for small businesses? Chime in below…

2 Comments

  1. Lynn Hare on September 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Jamie, thanks for the mention of Telios Systems Co.
    Here’s a tip: Review reports of A/R, A/P, G/L, and track product data monthly. If percentages continue to increase/decrease, what adjustments need to be made? What trends do you think will continue for each product? The more integrated your data – that is, the parts talk to each other – the smoother and easier it will be to balance the books and submit that data for informed, big-picture decisions for your business. Customized software is a great vehicle for the process.

  2. Ed Mendlowitz on August 9, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Wonderful and useful information for quickbooks online. I agree with you Jamie Teasdale. you are great ….you have shared very nice tricks to reduce time in accountancy and for saving more time to think about business progress …. All tips are very nice to follow …. Thanks for sharing . !

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