Plan Your Staffing Now

Posted by on Dec 14, 2009 in Outsourcing, Virtual Services | 0 comments

Plan Your Staffing Now – Before The Post Recession Rebound!

So you got what you think is a bargain when you hired the new accountant… What are you going to do when the economy rebounds and that employee that took a 25-50% paycut, heads for the nearest exit faster than you can say “2 weeks notice”?

Let’s face it, the harsh reality is that there will be a lot of turnover and attrition of good employees.  In fact, it’s not IF it will happen but WHEN.  So what do you do?  My suggestion:  prepare yourself by planning for the inevitable.  It’s that time of year – budget time!  So budget for changes (turnover/new employees).  Evaluate the possibility that you may need to outsource a few tasks (telemarketing, social media, accounting/bookkeeping, marketing, etc),  Look at what your core products and services are… wherever you can, tighten your belt.

Related info:
Why Outsource Bookkeeping/Accounting?
Raiding My Team
Four Professionals Who Can Help Your Business Succeed
How Hiring A Professional Costs Less Than Doing It Yourself
Why You Should Outsource

 

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Business Builder: How To Start A Bookkeeping (or Accounting) Business

Posted by on Dec 4, 2009 in Accounting & Bookkeeping, Small Business | 1 comment

About a month ago, I set out to write an e-book about something I know. So I started with the obvious, starting a bookkeeping or accounting business.

Freebie Alert… but you have to give to receive (read post to the end)

Right now it’s rough for pretty much everyone. So many people have decided to start businesses… so why not you?

Starting a bookkeeping business, or any business for that matter, is not rocket science but it does take some planning and it helps a little bit if you have some guidance from someone that has been there and done that. There will be days when you simply don’t feel like it, when you feel like you can’t do it, when you feel like this hair-brained idea that you had won’t work but I’m here to tell you that with perseverance, it can and will work… you just have to stick with it.

Remember, do what you love and everything will naturally fall into place. You will make tons of mistakes along the way but the more you fail, the closer you will be to success so don’t be afraid to fail. Dispel your fears because they aren’t real after all. FEAR is just False Evidence Appear Real.

For the next week, I’m offering a FREE Preview Chapter, my chapter on Marketing.
Want more info about the ebook?  Click Here!
Want the entire ebook ~ How To Start A Bookkeeping Business?  Click Here!

 

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When To Hire an Accountant

Posted by on Dec 3, 2009 in Accounting & Bookkeeping, Outsourcing, Small Business | 0 comments

I found this blogpost/article on Freelance Folder’s blog.  After reading it, I thought to myself, I couldn’t have said it better myself so I’m sharing it with you.  I may be a little biased since I am an accountant but I truly believe eventhough there is DIY accounting software out there, there is still a need for accountants to at least review your books monthly or quarterly.  Afterall, we do go to school for at least 4 years to learn this stuff…and make a lifetime commitment to it with continuing professional education requirements.  Keep that in mind while you’re attempting to learn Quickbooks (and the many other DIY software packages out there) and thinking to yourself how “easy” it is… *smile*…

When To Hire an Accountant: ”
One of the most common questions that freelancers ask is “how big does my business have to be before I need to hire an accountant
Many freelancers start their business on a shoestring budget. For many, a simple spreadsheet is their only accounting tool because that is all that they can really afford at first.
For the freelancer who understands basic accounting and bookkeeping principles, a spreadsheet may actually be sufficient — at least initially. For the freelancer who has no background in accounting and no interest in learning, however, handling the accounting side of the business with nothing more than a spreadsheet can be frustrating.

Hiring an Accountant

The question of when (or if) a freelance business should hire an accounting professional can vary depending on each individual freelancer’s needs and skills.
Here are two quick answers that might help. It is generally time to hire an accountant if:

  1. Your business is large enough that you can no longer keep up by yourself
  2. You’re having trouble correctly handling all of your accounting

With the increasing number of excellent invoicing and project management solutions available on the web, it’s possible for some people to handle a lot of clients and still maintain their own accounting. That is, if you have enough tax knowledge to pull it off correctly.
On the other hand, if your freelance business has a complicated structure or requires more than the basic accounting systems, then it’s possible that you could significantly benefit from the help of a professional
Let’s look at some of the advantages (and disadvantages) of hiring an accounting professional for your freelancing business.

Advantages of Hiring an Accounting Professional

There are some definite advantages to hiring an accounting professional to take care of your freelance business accounting needs. Having an accountant handle your finances can:

  • Ensure that your bookkeeping is set up the right way, legally and practically
  • Make things easier for you when your taxes are due
  • Help you discover potential problems
  • Provide a second set of eyes to eliminate math mistakes
  • Reduce your tax bill by making you aware of all the deductions and credits that may be available to you as a self-employed person
  • Give you pertinent advice customized to your specific situation
  • Free up your time so that you can focus on tasks that are more central to the core of your business

With all of these benefits to be had from hiring accountant, you may wonder: why doesn’t every single freelancer already use an accounting professional?

Disadvantages of Hiring an Accounting Professional

The biggest disadvantage to hiring an accountant for many freelancers is cost.
Depending on the complexity of your needs and your geographic location, hiring an accountant can range from costing hundreds of dollars to costing thousands of dollars. For that reason, many part-time freelancers and those who are just getting started may have trouble affording an accountant.
If it appears that the accountant’s fee will cost more than your freelancing business earns in a month, hiring an accountant to help with your bookkeeping and taxes may be out of your financial reach. You will have to look for another method of meeting your accounting needs.

A Word About Automated Accounting Programs

For many freelancers, an automated accounting and/or tax software program provides the happy medium between hiring an accounting professional and doing your books yourself on a spreadsheet.
A few popular accounting programs designed to meet the needs of the small business professional include:

(There are other many online packages available as well, see this post for some web examples.)
If you decide to use an accounting software package, make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully.
Many software packages offer a free trial period, which can be a good way of finding out how much use you will actually get from the package.
There are a few disadvantages to software accounting programs:

  • They generally cannot provide the unique analysis of your business that an accounting professional would. (Although some packages provide analytical tools that come close. You may also be able to turn to a software support forum or help desk for help with some specific questions.)
  • They may not provide someone to accompany you to court (or to an IRS hearing) if you have legal or tax problems relating to your freelance business.
  • Depending on the accounting software that you select, you may need to purchase a separate software package to do your taxes.

How Do You Handle Your Accounting Needs?

What have you found to be most effective for handling your accounting needs? Do you hire an accountant, do your books (and taxes) yourself, or do you use a software package? Share what you’ve found to be most effective in the comments.
If you want to read more about this subject, check out this article about four professionals who can help your business succeed.

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New Mileage Rates – Effective Jan 1, 2010

Posted by on Dec 3, 2009 in Accounting & Bookkeeping, Taxes | 0 comments

IRS announces 2010 standard mileage rates

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates
for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks)
will be:

* 50 cents per mile for business miles driven

* 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving
purposes

* 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable
organizations

For details go to:
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=216048,00.html

Related posts:
Mileage Rate Increase

 

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