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2nd Annual Bookkeeper Superstar Award

Online Marketing and Advertising is the Need of the Hour of the Bookkeeper C2online
In the current digital age, asking yourself if your bookkeeping or accounting practice has or wants to have an online presence is redundant. There is no option anymore - all companies must have an online presence to survive in competitive global markets.Online advertising - which includes social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing - is a must and most small to mid-sized companies are wise enough to outsource online advertising to external agencies.


The Internet is not used only for advertising anymore; in fact, as a result of cloud computing, mobile applications, and improved communication networks, most bookkeepers and accountants are now allowing employees to work over the Internet and are even conducting business meetings via online conferences. Despite Marissa Mayer famously banning working from home at Yahoo!, many employees value the option of working from home.  Debate about the pros and cons aside (we’ll not dive into that debate here), the trend is alive. Folks are using the ‘net to collaborate in ways that were not possible a few short years ago.

We also know physical meetings and actual face-to-face interaction can be vital (a driving force behind Marissa’s decision). Yet, 100% of the 100 Best Companies to Work for offer telecommuting options and 32% of employees are regular telecommuters, so the trend towards online collaboration grows.  There’s clearly no right answer; just the right solution for each individual business. Temper your need for employee flexibility and the need for face-to-face interactions.  Travelling to offsite company strategy meetings can be an effective way to bring people together, especially to discuss your online marketing and advertising strategy.

 

Benefits of online advertising and having a strong online presence

Firstly, all bookkeepers and accountants must maintain a website that is attractive and can support latest technologies. Do company websites need to be better monitored for maintenance? The answer is ‘yes’. You need to have a dedicated web team to manage websites and update them regularly so that company blogs and websites have minimum downtimes and issues.

With online advertising, companies can direct your messages to your ideal or target audience. No time or money is spent on advertising to the wrong audience or waiting for the right people to spot your campaigns. Do you doubt if your company budget and strategy for advertising takes into account the overall business plan and client types that the campaigns need to serve? With online advertising, this is very easy to do as you can maintain a constant brand image and easily target different types of clients with different campaigns and content. 

Online advertising also allows you as a bookkeeper or accountant to develop better relationships with your customers, and is a great way to retain existing customers. Most importantly, with online advertisements, you can customize the advertising campaigns for every customer or groups of customers. Additionally, online advertising is much cheaper than traditional print-radio-television advertising, and your campaigns will be active 24/7. The campaigns also have a worldwide reach, so even a small business can attract customers on a global scale.

Another advantage of having a strong presence online is that customers and other internet users will view your company as an expert source of information in the industry, which not only gives you an edge over competitors but also improves brand image and awareness. Have you asked yourself if your company provides free consultation in the community or in the office? This can be easily done if the company has a formidable online presence. Blog posts, newsletters, articles, guest blogs, etc. are all forms of free consultation, as the company is offering valuable information for free to anyone who wants it.

 

Want to explore media advertising through radio, television or online social media?

Are you wondering which media channel is the best for advertising? Actually, there is no one perfect advertising channel. Companies are advised to consider all – radio, television, and social media channels if the budget allows this. However, social media cannot be ignored and the company should either outsource social media marketing management to an external agency or build a team dedicated to managing the social media presence of the company. Social media platforms allow potential customers to get unbiased information from existing customers about the company, so monitoring social media channels and campaigns is a necessity for companies.

Are you exploring newspaper coverage for sale ads or information type ads? If yes, then this is a good move but it must be coupled with similar ads on social media platforms. This is because people can view your ads anytime and from anywhere on their mobile devices if you post them on social media platforms. Also, your print campaigns must look similar to your social media campaigns. Companies need to figure out how to improve the print material they have and develop them further to match their social media campaigns.


Plan the most Efficient Bookkeeping Meetings C2online

Meetings are vital to the success of your bookkeeping business.  Making sure you have a well planned agenda and good follow up will make your job as a bookkeeper easier and instill confidence with your client.  Here are some tips to help you:

Plan and Execute an Agenda

Once you’ve deemed the bookkeeper meeting necessary, lay out a clear purpose. Write down an agenda or “to-do list” for the meeting. Make a list of points to be discussed or followed upon, and then next to each item, mention who will have to address the issue. This helps you keep track of everything and everyone, and saves you a lot of time; there’s nothing worse than a manager who loses track of things mid-meeting. 

Distribute the copies of the agenda in advance. If everyone who is going to attend the bookkeeper meeting knows what they’ll be held accountable for, they can get prepared too. This helps you wrap up the meeting on time, which makes everyone happy.

Start and Stop on Schedule.

Once you’ve set a time for the meeting to begin and a time for it to end, stick to it strictly. Nobody likes meetings that run late unexpectedly, messing with their plans. Start at exactly the time you’ve mentioned to everyone and don’t wait for anyone who’s late. There’s no point in making the people who are on time suffer while waiting for someone who’s tardy or might not even show up. Remember everyone time’s is money.

Many offices even lock the conference rooms once a meeting has begun, or their office door if the meeting is online. Enforcing strict rules like this will eventually curb tardiness and increase overall efficiency. When people realize that if they’re late, they’ll not be allowed for the meeting, they’re more likely to be on time. (however, if your meetings are notoriously bad, people will “accidentally” be late, so this tactic could backfire! “oh, darn… I was late for the meeting and now I can’t get in. Rats!” )

Prioritize Discussions

Before you call for a meeting, make a list of priority topics to be discussed. Put them in order of importance with the most pressing issues lined up first, and the topics that can still be pushed to another day at the end. Stick to this order when you’re speaking in the meeting. That way, if you happen to run out of time, you can drop less important topics for next time. This helps you stick to your schedule and wrap up the meeting on time.

Summarize the Session

At the end of the bookkeeper meeting keep a few minutes aside to summarize all the points discussed. Make sure that each person present has their action items to be worked on before the next meeting. Another important thing is to make sure that every topic is concluded before moving on to the next one. Wrap up everything and make sure that everyone is clear. Take minutes of the meetings and prepare relevant notes so that you can distribute them to those present there.

Action items encourages people to work harder so that they have something to share in subsequent follow up meetings. It makes sure that everything discussed in the meeting is implemented correctly, making your bookkeeper meetings more productive and useful. A good bookkeeper can balance their follow up tactics so that employees don’t feel hounded, but encouraged and supported.


Managing your Bookkeeping Clients Expectations C2online

So much work and effort is made to winning a new bookkeeping business client, there is the initial prospecting, early conversations, budget considerations, and creation of a deliverable timeline. Unfortunately, all of that work can come to a screeching halt before the ink is dry on the contract when the same amount of time, energy and commitment isn't placed on managing the client's expectations after the business is won. 

Be a good listener – ensure that you really learn about your new clients business.  Listen to what your client tells you about their business.  Remember that knowing their business well means you have demonstrated that you have an invested interest in their business and their success.    

Be a mentor – Your client is really good at their business but they are not bookkeepers.  They have recognized they need a professional to handle their finances and they have come to you.  Establish that you are an expert and that they can expect mentor-ship about their finances.

Agree on goals and timelines – Clearly outline for your client what goals you will achieve and when you intend to achieve them.  

CommunicateKashoo agrees.  In a recent article they say, ‘Cutting to the core of it, you need to make sure that your new bookkeeper communicates well and in the channel that suits your style, preference and industry.’  Using tools like our Bookkeepers Quote ensures that at the very least you have a communication tool that will outline your expectations.  Yes, I did say your expectations are just as important because if the client does not provide you the necessary information to complete the goal you outlined their expectation will not be met.

Ultimately your ability to manage client expectations is going to hinge on how well you choose to communicate.  If you don't clearly outline and mentor your client and you leave things to chance, chances are your client will be disappointed.


Thinking Of Becoming A Bookkeeper? C2online

Thinking Of Becoming A Bookkeeper?

 

You’ve always had an affinity for numbers and want to translate it into a career path.

 

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you have the skills and personality traits to be successful.

 

Related Search: How to Spot a Good Bookkeeper?

 

 

1. How are you on the technical side of things?

 

Being tech-savvy is crucial these days—you don’t need to know be a programmer, but being comfortable with technology and its constant advances are essential for the job.

 

2. What’s your attention to detail like?

 

It’s pretty obvious, but being organized and detail-oriented is one of the most important skills a bookkeeper can have. Some people are more organized than others, and in some careers, it’s not as crucial, but when you’re working with numbers, you need a razor sharp memory and the ability to stay on top of things.

 

3. Do you have good critical thinking skills?

 

Helping your company or clients by providing ways to improve processes is an important skill for a bookkeeper. By taking the initiative to point out ways they could save money or time, you’ll provide extra value. If you’re good at seeing how systems or processes can be made better, you’ll be an asset to your employer or clients.

 

Related Search: Bookkeeper Superstars

 

Working as a bookkeeper can be fulfilling and lead to an interesting life-long career. If you enjoy working with numbers and have the needed skills and personality type, you’re likely on the right path.

 


Tips on Bookkeeping Tools C2online



It’s a lot of work running a business and one of the most important, but often-neglected areas, is bookkeeping. It can be overwhelming to keep track of the day-to-day transactions of your business. It’s important to have the proper bookkeeping tools and a system to track everything and understanding what needs to be recorded can make it much easier.


Related Search: Step 1 Bookkeeper Tools

If you are doing your own recording, or have hired a bookkeeper, these are the five categories that need to be accounted for:


1.  Assets

This is what the business owns and can include buildings and equipment--computers, printers, vehicles, machinery, furniture, accounts receivable, inventory and so on. Assets are accounted for on your Balance Sheet.


2. Liabilities

This is what you owe and hasn’t been paid—accounts payable to suppliers and vendors, outstanding loans to banks and for company vehicles, etc. Liabilities are also accounted for on the Balance Sheet.


3. Capital

As a business owner, you may contribute or invest in the business and this becomes part of the Equity section on the Balance Sheet, which is the value of your business belonging to you.


4. Revenue

Money coming into your business, typically from sales of products of services are accounted for on the Income Statement, which some people refer to as the Profit and Loss Statement or P&L.


5. Expenses

Any  money that goes out of your business on a regular basis to keep it operating is categorized as expenses. Expenses can includes wages, rent, office supplies, utility costs, etc. They form part of the Income Statement and are deducted from revenue, resulting in a profit or loss for your business.

Related Search: Step 2 More Bookkeeper Tools

Once you or  your bookkeeper have the daily income and expenses accounted for, you can transfer the data to a monthly accounting system.

Having the proper systems in place will make bookkeeping much simpler and allow you to see quickly how your business is doing financially.

Photo Credit: "adamr" at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT C2online

As a small business owner, do you need both? And what’s the difference between the two of them?

 

 

Many people use the terms bookkeeper and accountant interchangeably, but there are significant differences.

 

Accountants typically have a university degree and have majored in accounting. Although a bookkeeper may have a college or university degree, he or she doesn’t have the same level of education in accounting.

 

A bookkeeper records the day-to-day transactions of your business—purchases, sales, receipts and payments. He is responsible for preparing invoices, paying bills and sending out customer statements. All of these needs to be recorded in the appropriate place—the supplier ledger, customer ledger and general ledger.

 

Related Search: What makes a Good Bookkeeper….Good?

 

An accountant takes it to the next step, turning this data into financial reports for your business, including income statements, balance sheets and statements of cash flow.

 

An accountant can also act as an advisor, helping you to understand the financial impact on your business of financial decisions you’ve made in the past and plan to make in the future.

 

Save time by hiring a bookkeeper

 

Running a small business means you’re wearing many different hats, but it’s difficult to manage all of it on your own. Hiring a bookkeeper to manage your daily transactions can mean you can focus on more important, revenue-earning tasks.

 

Related Search: Remove Stress by Hiring a Bookkeeper

 

Reduce your taxes

 

Hiring an accountant, especially at tax time, can save you money over the long-term. He will have the knowledge and experience to understand how to reduce your taxes and provides more specialized advice than a bookkeeper.

 

Related Search: Tax Issues

 

Photo Credit: "adamr" at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


5 Tips for Social Media Success for your Bookkeeping, Accounting or Small Business C2online

We operate in a relationship economy, making it more important than ever for bookkeepers, accountants and small business owners to use social media to reach out to clients and to grow their businesses. As a beginner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. Should you write a blog, build a Facebook page, create a Twitter account, or set up a LinkedIn account? And the list goes on.

To break it down, follow some of the same steps you would for marketing your business.

Related: 5 Steps for Setting Yourself Up for Success - Marketing Your Freelance Bookkeeping Business

1.   Who is your target group?

Understand your audience. If your existing client base or potential clients are not likely to follow you on Twitter, there’s no point in starting to tweet. But if you know they are likely to read your blog posts or follow you on Facebook, those are the tools you should stick with. People join social networks for different reasons. When you know who they are and what they want, you can better serve your online community and help your business grow.

2.   What’s the competition doing?

Do your homework and research similar businesses. Search out the ones you know to be successful and review what they’re doing. If one of your competitors has a Facebook page, connect to it and start reading their posts. You can save time by seeing what appears to be working and what not to do.

3.   Develop a Strategy

Based on the research you’ve done in Steps #1 and 2, you’ve decided which social media networks make sense for your business. As with anything in your business, don’t approach social media without creating a strategy. You’re better off with a strategic and limited social media presence than being everywhere without a plan in place.

If one of your goals is to build and grow your Facebook community, then begin creating content, promotions and posts that will attract your target group. If part of your strategy is to post an ongoing blog, begin researching and creating a library of topics.

4.    Content is key

Related: Stand Out as a Bookkeeper/Accountant/Business Owner with your Communication Skills

We’re all overloaded with information these days. Ensure the content you’re broadcasting is relevant and makes sense to your community, just as you would when presenting financial information to clients or approaching them about a new product or service. If you’re crunched for time, share quality content that’s already out there or hire or approach an expert to create relevant quality content for you. Broadcasting anything just to appear active on social media is likely to lose you followers, not gain their thanks.

Create content that makes your business stand out because it’s helpful and of value to them. If you want to share your thoughts on topics of interest to your audience, such as new tax laws or ways to increase revenue, LinkedIn is a professional network that provides a great avenue to do this. Again, take the time to research and post what is best suited to the social networking tool you’ve chosen.

5.   It’s NOT all about you!

Just as in real life, talking about yourself on social media is not likely to gain you friends. The point of social media participation is to foster conversation and make it easy for your community and your clients to share content. You’ve done the research – continue to listen and observe what is important to them. Yes, you can tell them about your new product or service, but don’t do it all the time.

If you think the time is right for your bookkeeping, accounting or small business to create a social media presence, give it a try. Take it one step at a time—you can always expand at a later date. Follow the steps above and you won’t feel as overwhelmed.

Photo Credit: "smarnad" at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


An Inspirational Story of Connections C2online

Many people think that networking is something that you do, rather than a way that you live. Networking is a life skill, rather than something you do only when you want something. I recently read Dragon - Jim Treliving’s book, Decisions.  His book inspired me on so many levels but it also compelled me to write this article.  In his book Jim said ‘the story of my life is a story of connections, each one bringing me to where I am today.’  Jim Treliving, Decisions: , Jim Treliving Media Ltd, 2012 p.251. “Always leave something on the table.” Jim Treliving, Decisions: , Jim Treliving Media Ltd, 2012 p.129

If you have not learned that most successful entrepreneurs live their life by giving without expectation than you are more likely to not have achieved success.  I learned early in my career that giving to my relationships required effort, the willing to give, share and support.  I also learned that in the process of not expecting anything in return I was rewarded with relationships that became best friends that were once a perfect stranger.

Most people intuitively know that people who are well connected have an advantage. You are far more easily able to tap the wisdom and network of your friend because you have built a trust and a level of respect that has been mutually beneficial.   That perfect stranger, now my best friend also has a life story of connections.

 You also build a story of connections by always leaving something on the table.  That perfect stranger across the table that you have only met for the first time, whether you are buying something or selling something; if you don't let greed drive your motivation and you leave something on the table your story has a foundation to build from … Remember, that perfect stranger also has a life story of connections.

 I wrote this article not to tell you I have a network but to share with you an inspirational story for me and to thank Jim for guiding me on my path to how I define success – a life of a story of connections.  Someone once told me if you measure your success with money, remember ‘you can buy a house but you can’t buy a home ….’ So, thank you Jim.

Lisa Patrick


Bookkeeping for your Personal Finances C2online
Bookkeeping is not just limited to business owners—it’s a good idea to apply the same
bookkeeping principles to your personal finances. Consider yourself the Chief Operating
Officer of your own company (you).

Think of yourself as a business; the value you bring to the organization (your life) and
the profit you make (your salary). You need to spend money on goods and services like
food, shelter, gas, clothes, recreation and so on (raw materials) to keep your business
(you) running. You may participate in continuing studies (investment) so you can
increase your profit (promotions and higher salary). You may donate to the needy or
to your church (corporate social responsibility) and pay taxes and save money for the
future (net profit).

The majority of businesses (people) want to earn more. To achieve that, you can
increase sales (output or responsibility) by investing more (acquire new skills or set up
new income channels) or minimize costs (standard of living and expenses) by cutting
unnecessary assets (luxuries) or processes (hobbies or habits), reducing unprofitable
products or services (outings or habits), or firing incompetent people (destructive friends
or colleagues) so the organization (you) becomes the proverbial tight ship.

These things are all transactions and have to be accounted for if you want your
personal finances and life to be in good shape. Being able to track your income and
expenses allows you to see which resources (your money) of your business (yourself)
are not being maximized or worse, being wasted. You don’t need to be a bookkeeper—
just incorporate these principles into your life. You’ll be surprised how much money,
time and resources are being wasted. Start tracking your life today!


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