Financial Resolutions for 2020
It is so easy to start a new year with a power-packed list of resolutions, that come February will find itself in the bottom of your trash can. For you and for your small business, create a list of financial resolutions that you can really stick to. Let this list make 2020 be your most successful year yet!
Let's shake up the beginning of this new year with a set of resolutions that you can really and truly stick to. New Year's resolutions aren't just for dieting and working out. They can be utilized to give your finances a boost. It's a new decade and it's an exciting time for you and your small business. This new year doesn't have to be a burden for you or your company. Take 2020 and turn it on its head by beating it to the finish line with resolutions you can be proud of! Keep in mind too, that even though these resolutions have been specifically picked for your company to thrive, you can also apply them to your personal life. Let's get going!
This won't be the easiest list of resolutions to follow, but the important ones never are. We can guarantee that each one of these is worth sticking to and the will help you and your company in the long run! Cheers to 2020!
End of the Year Checklist
We've made it to the end of the year, but you know that doesn't mean your business slows down or stops! It's time to wrap up this fiscal year and start a new one. But what is the best way to do this and what items should you keep in mind as you are making your to-do list to end 2019?
December is here, and we hope it has been a very profitable and busy year for you and your company. Even with holiday parties, your company doesn't slow down. As tempting as it is to slow relax, there are still many things you need to do before putting this year to bed. Owning a company ourselves, we understand these struggles. One of the best tactics to stay focused during these last few weeks is to make a checklist of all those last-minute things. But what are these things you need to be keeping in mind? We are here to give you the top priorities that need to be on your end of the year checklist!
Business At Hand
In The Books
These tasks might not be difficult, but they need to be added to the top of your end of the year checklist. We guarantee a successful new year if you mark these off your list. Get to work now so you can enjoy the office Christmas party! From all of us at Pathways Consulting, we wish you a happy holiday and a wonderful New Year!
The Easy Failings of Bookkeeping
Running a business is hard, anyone can acknowledge that. Today, one of the biggest downfalls of any company is its bookkeeping. Simple mistakes and errors can not only make the running of the business difficult but it can also be its downfall. Try and avoid these easy bookkeeping mistakes to make your business run smoothly.
Bookkeeping is something that all businesses, big or small, have to do. The pen to paper bookkeeping for many is a thing of the past thanks to amazing online programs and applications, like Quickbooks, that do a lot of the hard work for you. For some, making and keeping a note of everything by pen and paper is still preferred. But your bookkeeping and how you handle it is just as uniquely personal as your business model and strategy. But the biggest factor, however you decide to do your bookkeeping, is to avoid some of the most simple and common mistakes out there. Today we will be discussing how to avoid these common mistakes to keep your small business working smoothly no matter what!
The First Steps
When it comes to the point where your small business can grow and expand, that is so exciting! But it's so easy to overlook the important steps of your full bookkeeping to successfully make those steps. Many new business owners will just do the bookkeeping themselves. They rush the process, they don't account enough time or attention to the process, and completely mess up a good chunk of all of it by doing so. Our first recommendation is to work with a professional. If you don't want one full time or on staff, at least learn from them how to properly do everything that needs to be done. Take more classes, attend seminars, or even bend the ear of professional bookkeepers. Or hire someone like us at Hoods, who can help you understand Quickbooks and how to properly use it for your company! Most importantly when you sit down to do your bookkeeping, take your time and breathe.
This might be obvious, but it still needs to be said. You have to budget for your small business or the outcome could be a disaster! You raised and created the fund to create the company in the first place. So you know that your bank account doesn't have unlimited spending for the year or years to come. You need to plan how the money of the company will be spent, or in other words, what will your budget be. A budget will help you track your accounts and records, any issues can be corrected quickly, you can plan for any emergencies, keep the company running, and pay your employees. In 2018 alone, 61% of small businesses didn't create a budget. How scary is that? A lot of young companies don't have a full appreciation of what a budget can do for the company itself. Without one there is no way to evaluate the performance or even the goals for the company. You also can't continue to develop the business without one, and you can't see any growth either.
One of the most important steps in bookkeeping is the reconciliation of your books. This is making sure all of the bank accounts, credit cards, and all the reports match and you have proof to show that they do. This is a huge step when it comes to paying your taxes based on how much the company made, how much was spent, and how much was paid to the employees. These factors will all factor in how much you owe the IRS come tax season. Not doing this properly can lead to over or underpaying your taxes. This might have you re-doing your taxes, owing more, and possibly accruing late fees. Not to mention the hours spent on the phone and in front of your computer to fix these issues. You can also become a victim of fraud, have bank withdrawals that were not authorized, several other bank errors, and the disappearance of money you can't account for.
It Doesn't Mix
Many small businesses start in garages or home offices. Some of the greatest companies of all time have started this way. But don't make the mistake of mixing your home and business bills, expenses, or taxes. Make sure you know exactly how to write off business expense items and what they are before doing so. The IRS is very well versed in what you can and cannot call business expenses from your home, so don't try and fool them. Even if you make an honest mistake, it can still hurt you come tax time. Separate your credit cards, your living space from your workspace, your landlines, and cell phones. Keep meticulous records of expenses and receipts, mileage, and time. Don't muddy or blur the lines between home expenses and business expenses. This will make your life and dealing with the IRS much simpler!
There are a lot of small moving parts to bookkeeping, but all of them have to be well oiled to keep the machine running. Don't rush, make sure you know what you're doing, and never be afraid to ask for help. We are here to offer you the best tax services for your business and to help you do your bookkeeping with Quickbooks. Don't let your small business become prey to these easy mistakes. Take the time to educate yourself and keep your bookkeeping focused and accounted for.
You know a lot about the taxes for your company, but there still might be some unknown surprises along the way.
There are black and white things you know about taxes, preparing them, and paying them. But as a new or experienced small business owner, there might be some things you didn't know about your taxes. As we enter the fourth fiscal quarter of this year, keep these possible unknown facts in the back of your mind. This might prepare you for possible painful surprises or surprise you with some relief.
So, what did you think? Were any of these a shock or a surprise? With an unknown future and a lot of changes that are a possibility, is your small business prepared? Do you have someone helping you with your taxes, or have you been using Quickbooks to help you prepare for whatever might come your way? With the knowledge of these facts, always know that Pathways is here for you with any question you might have. We are here to help you come tax season and in any season.
There are so many ways to cut corners and save a little extra for your company this year, but if you think a little more on the creative side - you might end up saving more money than you expected!
Saving money for your company is something that I am sure is always on the back of your mind or is your main focus every time you hit a new fiscal quarter. There are so many options out there that can help you save a few dollars every month and sometimes a little bit every day. But here are five unique and interesting tips that could seriously help you save money consistently for the rest of 2019 and into 2020!
2. Spring Cleaning Comes All Year Round
Have you noticed the huge trend in personal sellers on eBay and a huge slew of apps and websites that have been created specifically for the need of a personal seller? Well, there is a huge reason for that! A little extra cash goes a long way, especially when it comes to your bottom line at the end of the fiscal year. Has your office become cluttered with unused equipment, office supplies, and even gifted items that are just not being used? Take the time to do a big office clean and get rid of everything you don't need! Sell these items on eBay, the Facebook Marketplace, or any number of personal seller apps. You will end up putting a few extra dollars back into your company's pocket and giving your office a much needed deep clean. You can also save time and productivity and give this task to your interns instead of one of your full-time employees. You aren't taking away from your employee's workload, your interns are gaining experience, and you are getting money back from inexpensive labor!
3. Change Up That Work Week
Have you been dreaming of working a three or four day week? Do you think this option might make your employees excited too? Without cutting down the productivity or work that needs to get done at your company, use this idea as inspiration. Giving yourself and your staff a few extra days off during the month or giving them more opportunities to work from home is not only a great perk, but it's also a huge cost saver. You're cutting back on daily business operation costs by closing down the office, and this creates a natural productivity increase. The promise of getting a few extra days off by working a little harder during the early part of the week will help get tasks done and keep employees very happy with the promise of a three or four day weekend.
4. Make a Difference When Printing
Printing and toner cartridges can easily cost $50 a piece if not more every single time you buy one. If you're choosing to print all business materials in your office and allow your employees to have full use of your printing services, constantly buying new cartridges can get very costly very quickly. So, using recycled materials can become an excellent cost-saving option. Shop around for retailers that sell recycled cartridges and make the switch. These used cartridges aren't just cheaper, but a lot of companies that sell recycled cartridges also offer additional rewards for using them. This could turn into another money-saving opportunity for you in more ways than you could expect! Also, not only are you saving money you are also helping save the earth with this excellent green option.
5. Use Those Powerstrips
Did you know that most of the electricity that is powering your office equipment, almost 75% of it, is used when all of your electronics are turned off? That gets pretty costly at the end of the month when that bill is due. Invest in some high-quality power strips to plug in all of your appliances and electronics into. When you and your employees leave at the end of the day just switch them all off as you walk out the door. Just leaving a computer on overnight, depending on how many computers you have in your office, can add an addition $200 a year in unnecessary energy consumption.
Saving money can be easy if you just take the time to think about it. And sometimes you can earn rewards AND help save the planet while saving money too. As you start to think about the end of the year budget and what your 2020 budget is going to look like - keep these unique and interesting options in mind.
Defeating the Grey Areas
Our latest blog focused on the importance of knowing what things you can look forward to writing off on your taxes this year. But just as important, you need to know all the things your business cannot write off as tax day draws closer. Battle this grey area, and be prepared before tax day.
There is plenty of time between now and April 15th to get prepared for paying Uncle Sam, but there is nothing wrong with being prepared. The last blog we posted was about knowing what items, some often unknown, that you can write off your taxes. We all love that extra break at the end of the year and it can be a huge burden lifted off your companies' bank account. But are you just as familiar with all the items you cannot write off your taxes? If not, you could be in for a lot of frustration when you start preparing your taxes and getting prepared to pay for them. Don't get caught in that trap, be prepared before you even begin your fiscal year. Know what receipts you need to save and where you can help your business save money - and know what to avoid spending money on before you get ready to sign the dotted line on April 15th.
Let's start with some of the basic nondeductible recommended by Quickbooks. After Quckbooks help you track your project probability, manage your bills, track your business mileage, track your income and expenses, helps you prepare invoices and payments, manage your contractors, and pay your employees, it also offers this fantastic reminder of what you cannot write off and deduct from your upcoming taxes.
How does this sound so far? Are any of these nondeductibles surprising or frustrating? Or were you already aware of these items? Well - the list continues. This one is a little more detailed and focused towards small business owners.
Familiarize Yourself With Quickbooks
QuickBooks is known for the amazing features you can use to grow your business. It may seem a bit daunting, but do not worry! Here are a few ways to familiarize yourself with QuickBooks!
Tackle the organization of your business’ moving parts through inventory tracking, categorization of expenses used on your company card, and much more!
Give your company the look and feel you desire through QuickBooks’ variety of personalization options! Branding is as important to QuickBooks as it is to your business.
Simple and efficient performance reports at your fingertips! Since QuickBooks handles multiple parts of your business, they can also provide you with detailed reports on how your business is thriving!
Accountant access is simple and hassle free, so when tax time comes, there won’t be stress! QuickBooks also helps you with you 1099s!
Pay your employees with W-2s easily with QuickBooks. With easy hour entry and optional direct deposit it check, your employees with continue to be happy! QuickBooks also guarantees payroll taxes with zero errors!
QuickBooks easily organizes your incoming and outgoing payments. It even allows you to email clients who have yet to pay your business!
QuickBooks has many elements that are just right for your business. It has all the tools in order to make your business boom with productivity! At Pathways, we are available to assist you in your QuickBooks journey anytime. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns!
When teenagers start to have interest in earning their own money, it’s best to start them off on the right foot. Here are some tips to help you get started:
No matter the size of your business keeping up with large amounts of receipts can be frustrating. Now you do not have to spend hours sorting through stacks and stacks of crumpled up receipts and waste valuable time. With Wave Accounting’s new app, keeping track of your expense receipts is much easier. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipts throughout the year as you spend. Then the app connects to your Wave account where you can track and review all your expenses.
Both the app and the account with Wave is completely free. Making this service a good alternative if a small business or entrepreneur cannot afford the subscription to a full-service software like QuickBooks or pay a professional accountant. Their business model is to tailor to this group, while their software does not have the same list of features as QuickBooks but is a good free option if you need to gain some control over you pile of receipts.
Improve Your Cash Flow Management
Business owners make mistakes, both large and small. Poor cash flow management is one of the most frequent reasons why small businesses will fail. Here are some ways to improve your cash flow management.
It is important to know at any given time the financial health of your business. Keeping good records and tracking cash flow make this a much easier task. If the stress of doing it all yourself becomes too much you can outsource to the professionals. Many small businesses will have accounting firms help because of the demand and time required.
Plan for the worst. Since we do not live in a perfect world, your sales cycle will probably see cash leaving before it comes in. Having a cash buffer for times where you need cash but the money has not come in yet will allow you to have access to capital.
Try to keep a handle on your spending decisions. Whenever cash leaves there should be a good reason and a clear purpose. Having capital tied up in unneeded expenses at the wrong time could prove fatal for a small business. As always it is important to use your cash to grow your business and monitor your bottom line.
The Pathways Team