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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.


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.


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


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!


Removing stress by hiring a bookkeeper C2online
We’ve talked about guidelines on how to choose a bookkeeper, but perhaps you are still not convinced
you really need one. Let’s review your situation.

Not that long ago, starting a business and fulfilling your passion was your dream.

You’ve taken that step—you’ve created your own business. It’s beginning to take off and you’re looking
to expand. There’s a lot on your plate—you’re testing the market, looking for a new location, meeting
with potential customers, interviewing, training and hiring new employees, setting up the office, and
purchasing inventory, among many other tasks.

The business is starting to make a profit; the day-to-day running of it keeps you busy full-time. Tracking
inventory records, accounts payable, accounts receivable and other transactions needs to be done.

Instead of having that extra time to play with your kids, spend time with your partner or pursue personal
interests, you are now swamped with receipts and records at nights and on weekends. You can’t sleep
soundly because you are worried about inventory, cash flow and the myriad of other items a business
owner needs to stay on top of. Financial record keeping just keeps getting put on the back burner.

As an entrepreneur, you need devote your energy to growing and running your business. You need some
personal time; everyone does. It’s also critical to stay on top of your finances. How do you achieve all of
that?

The best way to accomplish that is by hiring a bookkeeper, freeing you up to manage the running and
growing of your business. You can reduce your workload and stress, focus on things you are good at—
the reason you started the business in the first place--and have a bookkeeper handle the tracking and
recording of your finances.

Taking this step will allow you to breathe easier. Simplify your life—hire a bookkeeper. If you need to find one check out the North American Bookkeeper Directory and if you are a bookkeeper get listed for Free.

Image Credit: bizior 


How to Spot a Good Bookkeeper for Your Business? C2online

As your business grows, or even during the start-up stage, it’s a must that you have someone who takes care of the bookkeeping tasks for you.

Business documents pile up so quickly, like receipts and invoices, bills to be paid and those that were already paid for.  Taxes and other financial documents also directly impact one’s business stature.  And getting things in order is a must if you want to be on top of your financial transactions.
Let’s face it, as business progresses, everybody becomes busier, and without a bookkeeper to take care these, things can get messier than one can imagine.
But hiring a good one can also be a difficult process, here are some tips to spot the best bookkeeper for your business during the hiring process:
Is the candidate well-experienced in the bookkeeping process?
Does the candidate for the position have the necessary experience?  Did he work before in a similar capacity? It pays to have someone who’s experienced on the job, so that they can also bring to the table learnings from his prior employment.
Does he show genuine interest during the interview process? 
Does he ask questions about your business? Does he sound really interested?  You may be able to discern if a person is interested if he asks questions that’ll lead him to how he can make improvements with your current business processes.
What is his educational background?
Would you hire a surgeon that is self-taught?  The same thing also goes for the bookkeeper position.  It is important to have someone who has a degree, or a certificate that he can really render bookkeeping services.
Does he know the software that you’re currently using?
Or does he know any bookkeeping software?  Nowadays, it is highly important to hire someone who is knowledgeable about the various software available, even if just one.  So that it’lll not be hard to train them.
Does he tell you negative things about his previous employer?
If he does, you may just show him the door.  Bookkeeping task is a very serious matter.  It’s the lifeblood of any business, after sales that is.  Would you be comfortable to hire someone, who might squeal on you should your employee-employer relationship turn sour?
Getting a good bookkeeper is not an easy process.  And it is very important to take the necessary precaution when you decide to get one.

Is your Business in the Red? C2online

As a business owner, if asked this very same question, will you be able to give an answer with a straight face?

At times, in business, owners or managers would assume that their hectic day-to-day activities are a sign that their business is actually doing well.  Watching the frantic activities happening in the stores or the shops, give them that feeling that their business is really making lots of money.

But what if the supposed crazy business activities don’t necessarily mean profitability?  Yes, like activity doesn’t really reflect productivity.
We have to admit, many business owners are at a lost when it comes to understanding how their company’s really doing.
Maybe it’s about time you talk to your bookkeeper and accountant and see if your business is really making the profits that you want.  Let’s face it, how can you deal with a problem that you don’t even know exist.
Do you have the right mark-up for your products or services? 
Are you just on break-even for every sale that you make? 
Is your overhead not eating your profits? 
What business expenses are taking a huge slice of the pie in your budget? 
What costs can you trim down further to improve cash flow? 
Are you collecting from your account receivables on the dates that they are supposed to become due? 
Can you still afford to invest in new equipment or technology for your business?
The questions can go on and on. 
And as you talk to your accountant and bookkeeper, more questions than answers have to be resolved so that you can set your business towards the direction that you want.
Besides, sound business decisions can only be made if you have the right financial information. And the best person to talk about this first is your bookkeeper -- who holds the key to your books of accounts.  Next, is your accountant who can either solidify further, or have a more thorough analysis of your current financial condition.
You don’t have to sleep at night not knowing where your business is really heading.  Hire a bookkeeper if you don’t have one yet.  And make sure that you have a professional who can assist you in keeping your financial house in order.
It pays to know your business numbers!  And there’s no better time to do that but NOW!

6 Money-Saving Tips for Savvy Entrepreneurs C2online

Lowering your operating expenses is always a good thing. Take a few minutes once or twice a year to think about how you can cut back or eliminate unnecessary expenses. Over time, those saved dollars can add up to a significant amount in your bank account.

 Below are 6 tips for reducing everyday business expenses that you can implement without sacrificing too much.

 

1. Office Equipment

Using energy efficient equipment in your office gives you more bang for your buck: while saving on electric bills and extending the lifespan of office equipment, you are also protecting the environment. Consider using a laptop as it consumes less energy than a desktop.

See: Approximate Desktop, Notebook, & Netbook Power Usage by Penn Computing 

2. Communication

Review your phone plan, or your employee’s cell phone allowances. With employees using E-mail, SMS and social media, does everyone in your office really need a phone to communicate? E-mails can often be faster, less intrusive and more effective since each transaction documents the “conversation”?

    See: Minimizing Distractions: Managing Your Work Environment by MindTools

    3. Cut down on paper use

    Sometimes a totally paperless environment is not possible. If this is the case, try to use less paper. Or use both sides of bond paper for printing and don’t just throw used paper away. Remember to recycle paper.

    See: Working green: 50 tips to reduce your office's waste by Jessica Hupp

    4. Utilities

    Utility bills add up quickly. If you need to paint your office walls you might consider using lighter colors and make the room brighter, reducing the need for lighting. If possible, install timers or motion sensors that automatically turn off the light in a room when not in use. This could save a little on your electrical bill. Set your thermostat slightly lower and encourage your office staff to dress in layers. You don’t want them to be wearing mittens while typing but perhaps they can wear long sleeves or a sweater. Turn off computers when not in use or when leaving the office.

      See: How light affects colour, and tips for choosing paint by Cristina Colli

      5. Advertising

      Word of mouth is your cheapest and most cost effective way to attract customers. If a new prospect calls you, make sure you give them a positive customer experience – for example, ask questions and let them do most of the talking. Go the extra mile and over deliver and under promise. Happy customers will spread the word about you. Use social media as well such as free platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube to create awareness about your business. Leverage your marketing initiatives by using social media.

      See: Word of mouth, social media and viral advertising by Marketing Made Simple

       6. Offer internship programs, or better yet, hire a freelancer.

      Many graduating students would be more than willing to take on any job so that they can complete their on-the-job training requirements. Not only will you pay a minimal wage, but also many interns will be keen to put their best foot forward to finish the job and their school requirements, plus impress a potential employer. Alternatively, you can hire a freelancer. Many freelancers charge less because they work from home.  As a result, you save on office space, electricity, and expenses associated with full-time office employees.

        See: Hiring Freelance Workers in Your Business by Daniel Richards

         

        Think outside the box--there are many more ways you can save money.  Be creative and reap the financial rewards.


        4 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Bookkeeper C2online

        Bookkeeping   

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        If you are starting a small business it is important to keep expenses to a minimum. Profits will happen eventually but often not within the first few months.

        Some business owners will try to cut costs by not hiring a bookkeeper. Instead they will get admin staff to manage the financial records. Although expenses are reduced in the short term this could be a mistake.

        Off-the-shelf accounting software may be easy to buy but it isn’t necessarily easy to use - properly. By hiring a good bookkeeper you will avoid some mistakes listed below.

        1. Invoicing Incorrectly

        Incorrect invoicing may entail a lot of extra time reconciling your products sold or services rendered, thus resulting in inability to collect from your customers on time. Also, if not done on time, invoicing can strain your cash flow.

        A good bookkeeper will ensure that invoices are correct and prepared in a timely manner. They can also monitor “aging of accounts” to make sure that receivables are collected from customers on time.

        2. Unknowingly Missing Deadlines

        There are specific dates for filing your taxes and other requirements to the government. Missing a date,
        no matter how unintentional, can cost you penalties and other charges. With a good bookkeeper, the
        only thing that you have to worry about is getting all the pertinent information to them on time. They’ll
        take care of the rest.

        3. Incorrectly Classifying Items for Taxation Purposes

        Tax laws are revised and updated periodically. What is classified as an item under a particular tax
        bracket or rule may change.

        A good bookkeeper is always abreast with the latest tax rules. They also have a clear understanding of
        items that may be tax deductible for your business. Trust your bookkeeper and take advantage of their
        knowledge. In the long run you will save money and headaches.

        4. Lack of Know-How in Using Accounting Software

        Inaccuracies in handling the accounting side of the business can potentially lead to more losses than you
        think - Not to mention government penalties. It sounds obvious, but accounting software works best if
        the correct data is inputted. What you put into the system, is proportionate to the output.

        A good bookkeeper understands this perfectly. The advantage for you is that you don’t have to worry at
        the end of your fiscal year.

        Ensuring proper handling of your company’s bookkeeping needs is paramount to your business success.
        Doing bookkeeping by yourself may prove to be not only dangerous, but even fatal, for your business health. 

        Photo Credit: psd


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