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Top 5 Small Business Accounting Software You Should Definitely Give a Try

Small business owners usually have their hands full because they have to handle everything on their own – from marketing, sales and procurement to accounting, bookkeeping and business planning. Accounting is not everyone’s cup of tea but now things have become easier and less complicated ever since the time small business accounting software programs have come into the picture.

If you’re looking for a new small business accounting software that will help you with bookkeeping and accounting while maintaining records and keeping things simple, take a look at the 5 best small business accounting software of 2015.

Intuit QuickBooks Online

This software offers a plethora of features for small business of all types. Whether you are a freelancer, consultant, restaurant owner, store manager or online merchant, you can use Intuit QuickBooks Online for your accounting and bookkeeping needs. The software comes in two versions – basic and advanced depending on what features you need to use and what stage your business is currently in.

The best part about using this software for accounting is that it is easy to use and fairly simple to handle.

Zoho Books                     

New great software that works smoothly for really small businesses is Zoho Books. Micro businesses in this day and age also require doing bookkeeping and accounting in order to achieve exponential growth. Zoho Books will help you do just that for it is power packed with a wide range of features tailored to the needs and requirements of micro businesses.

If you are looking for accounting software for your micro business at an affordable rate, Zoho Books is definitely worth a try.

Fresh Books

The new favorite cloud accounting software for small businesses among entrepreneurs these days is none other than Fresh Books. The reason why Fresh Books is on its winning streak these days is because it is fairly easy to use and works and stores records to the cloud on its own. Non-accountants who do not know the basics of accounting and bookkeeping can also use this software to keep proper records of their business transactions conveniently.

Fresh Books also has an Android and iOS app so that you can perform all the necessary accounting tasks on the go conveniently.

Intacct

Entrepreneurs looking for advanced accounting tools along with a cloud system can make use of Intacct. This software strictly focuses on business finances and helping your business grow exponentially. One of the great benefits of using Intacct is that it can generate a wide range of reports that will enable you to evaluate your business from various financial angles.

Reports including losses, incomes, profit margins as well as total revenue, revenue by product and revenue by business can be made conveniently using this advanced small business accounting software.

Less Accounting

Spend less time worrying about bookkeeping and accounting with this great new software called ‘Less Accounting. Running a business can be a time consuming task but Less Accounting is equipped with all the right tools you need to do everything from data entry and billing so you can get done with the whole process in a matter of minutes instead of hours.

These are some of the best accounting software programs for small businesses in their initial stage and growth stages. For more information on bookkeeping and accounting tools and services, log onto www.skfinancial.com.

 

Need To Keep Your Employees Engaged At The Workplace? Here Is What You Can Do

More often, people confuse engagement with motivation. Although both terms are very similar, engagement refers to being involved in something whereas motivation refers to behaving or acting in a certain way. Actually, engagement and motivation, both are necessary at the workplace.

Often employees are motivated to work with the several benefits, appraisal and other incentives being offered however, they lack engagement at work. Managers need to learn that engagement of employees is necessary at a workplace to get the work done.

Suppose you have a team of employees working collectively on a project to meet a deadline. Completing work within the deadline will result in the employees being rewarded. Everyone seems to be working hard and really invested in their work however, suddenly the computer crashes and the work stops, which means that the deadline cannot be met. This will result in the splitting of the team. One that will be of the opinion that they did whatever was possible. The other one would be of the opinion as to what can be done now until the deadline arrives.

Reading this, what comes in your mind? Which group will you support? Obviously, the group who sticks till the end to find a solution. This is what being engaged in the workplace means. Employees that are working in the company regardless of the reward attached to their work are said to be engaged at the workplace and these turn out to be productive assets of the business because they believe in the organization’s cause. One other difference is the quality of work done. Where motivated employees are after their carrot, engaged employees are in it to win i.e. do the best job possible.

Here are some of the things that you can adopt to engage your employees further:

  • The “Me before We” Strategy

According to a suggestion by the president and co-founder of Endeavor America, we should focus on the development of an individual employee’s needs, strengths and skill set. It does not mean that you should ignore the team but emphasis on each individual will end up in stronger and more capable teams.

  • Discover Your Employees

Let go of the negative opinion that you may have for an individual and approach every employee as a source of knowledge and creativity and that it can contribute to the vision of the company.

  • Show Your Willingness

Do not shy away from showing how engaged you are. You as the owner must be willing and the rest will follow.

  • Set Short-term Goals

Short-term goals can keep you updated on which employee is truly working for your company’s success rather than their own interests.

  • Try Being Transparent

Do not consider employees as a number. Respect, trust and let them know that you are there to share, communicate, sacrifice and hold yourself accountable when the time comes.

  • Use Employee Recognition Tools

This needs to be consistent to promote engagement. You might reward them excessively but honest feedback and appreciation is what really counts.

SK Financial is an accounting and consultancy firm that helps businesses perform better. Visit us online today.

How to Build & Maintain a Successful Work Team

People all around the world keep talking about building a successful work team, but very few among them really know how to build and manage an effective work team. When you work as a team, instead on focusing on your success rate, you have to contribute to the overall success of the organization. For that, you need to team up with your fellow members from different departments. In this case you all are unified to accomplish your objectives.

There are many team building seminars, meetings, retreats etc… in this article we are going to look at the 10 C’s for team building. Once we achieve that, we need to maintain a successful work team.

  1. Clear expectations: for a successful building of team, one must understand the core reason of its creation. The expectations of the company should be clearly defined for each employer
  2. Context: the team members should know why they are participating, and moreover they must understand the strategy that will be used to obtain the goals
  3. Commitment: this is one of the most important things for team building. Each member of the team must be committed to accomplish the company’s goal.
  4. Competence: each member should be competent. They should have knowledge of what they are doing
  5. Charter: the team should take their area of work, and design their own vision, plan and work hard on implementing it on time.
  6. Control: each member should have the freedom to have their say, but they should also remain in their boundaries.
  7. Collaboration: they all should work in collaboration, yet performing their separate tasks. But, they should be aware what other members of the team are working on.
  8. Communication: the team members should be able to communicate well with each other
  9. Consequences: each member should be prepared of the consequences. Instead of pointing fingers at others, they must resolve issues. They should also be able to take risks without the fear of failure.
  10. Coordination: each team should have a team member and they must coordinate with them on a regular basis.

Having looked at the 10 C’s for building a competitive and a strong work team, the company must now focus on maintaining this team. Sometimes building a team seems easy, but maintaining it seems a little difficult. It is like any other relationship, which is easy to build, but difficult to maintain. In order to do so, the team leader should have a few qualities.

  • Be grateful
  • Be patient, calm and understanding
  • Be friendly and generous
  • Do not be resentful for someone else’s success
  • Don’t let ego spoil it for you
  • Respect each member
  • Don’t get aggressive, remain calm at all times
  • Learn to forgive others

A successful team work is what you need for a successful business. Once you have successfully built your work team, focus on maintaining it in an effective way. The day you are able to achieve these two things, there is nobody stopping you and your business to take the road to success.

6 Tips for Organizing your Small Business Finances

Establishing your own small business is an exciting venture, and everyone is excited to check how far it goes, and how successfully. However, most small business owners know that tackling the accounting and finances of your business is no fun at all. It becomes more and more difficult to manage as your business establishes and takes the road to success.

Below are six ways to clean up your finances and get organized.

  1. Call up on your tax advisor: to begin with, you need to contact your CPA and get your taxes done and manage your finances. Jot down questions to ask him and seek guidance.
  2. Do not over invest in your business: try to cut back your costs, minimize your spending, and save as much money as you can. Spending too much can cause financial insecurity, so try and avoid depending completely on business loans, credit cards and your business savings. You must prioritize your business needs and try to cut back where ever you can.
  3. Avoid mixing your business and personal finances: this can cause a big blunder. The best you can do is to open up a separate bank account for your business finances. This way you can easily manage your business expenses and revenue each month without any mismanagement.
  4. Set financial goals: this is very important if you want to see if your business finances are heading towards the right direction. You can set financial goals either by: increasing the monthly sales or creating a better budget. For example if you create a budget you know whether you are spending excessively, and if you are, you can easily cut it down in places where you can.
  5. Use a cloud app to get organized: you can easily find an affordable cloud app in your mobile phone. You can either use Fresh books for invoicing, or Expensify or reporting expenses. However, if you are not sure where you need help, ask yourself the following questions: am I slow to invoice clients, or do I have trouble digging through receipts?
  6. Let’s not forget about traditional cleaning: Yes! This is very important. When was the last time you cleaned your laptop’s keyboard or wiped of your office desk? Cleaning your worktable and organizing your papers neatly is very important. File each document separately in a neat stack of paper.

Organizing the finances is not something people enjoy, but, once you do that, you will see the difference in the productivity, mindset and bottom line. This way you can focus more on other aspects of running a small business. Running a small business is not a child’s play. You need to carefully plan each and everything and most importantly, manage your finances every month, so that they don’t get clustered. Otherwise, you will end up wasting a week, understanding, managing and organizing them. Take time off your schedule and see the difference.

5 Secrets You Did not Know About ROTH IRAs

The subject of ROTH IRA is most likely to come up when you talk to your financial planner, investment advisor or any friend- it is in the news right now and people are in love with it. But, wait! Do you even know what a ROTH IRA is, or why people are in love with the idea of it? If not, do not worry, before getting in to a deep conversation about ROTH IRA, let us check out the basics.

Basically, a ROTH IRA is a retirement savings account in which all your taxes have been already paid. This means you fund a ROTH with after-tax dollars. Isn’t it great? No need to pay the taxes after your retirement, because it is all well taken care of.

ROTH IRA has so many benefits over the traditional IRA, to begin with, you will be able to withdraw all your contributions and savings tax free. But, of course not everyone opts for ROTH IRA, because they do not qualify for it. However, we cannot contradict with the fact that this seems a very attractive retirement vehicle. Therefore, knowing the secrets of ROTH IRA is very important.

  1. You can withdraw your money whenever you want: you might have heard people saying you cannot withdraw your money before you are 59.5 years old, well, with ROTH IRA you can, but that does not mean you should. But, yes, considering the fact that you are in need of it, you can, otherwise it is better not to because this way your earnings will fall drastically.
  2. A ROTH IRA is not open for everyone: if you think ROTH IRA is the ideal retirement account for you, do not rush, it is not for you if you earn six-figure salary or more.
  3. You can get a tax credit for contribution: if you open up a joint ROTH IRA account, you will receive free credit. For example if you and your spouse earn less than $36000, you can receive a credit of 50% in 2015 and so on.
  4. You can withdraw your earning penalty free under some circumstances: your earnings are yours and you can withdraw them anytime, but the good news is you do not have to pay penalties if you’ve had an IRA for more than 5 years. These withdrawals are called,’ qualified distributions’, and are penalty free. But, be aware of other IRS rules. It is advisable to talk to a tax professional before withdrawing your money.
  5. The government cannot force you to withdraw your money: unlike the traditional IRA, you do not need to withdraw money without your will because you are 70+, and the government won’t force you. As long as the owner of the account is alive, there is no RMD (i.e.: required minimum distribution).

Although ROTH IRA is not for everybody, but if you qualify for it, I bet this will be the perfect retirement account for you and your spouse. This is the topic of conversation around; impress your family and friends about these facts, if they do not know already.

4 Tips to Improve your Business Finances

The first thing to keep in mind is that improving your business finances takes consistency. Leaders and consultant will always ask you about your business finances, and if at the moment you fail to ask for help, we hope the information in this article will surely give you a starting point.

There are many businesses that need help in improving their finances right from the point of start till the very end. You must know that asking for help is important, and that you are not alone in this, there are millions of others business owners around in the same situation as you.

  1. Most small business owner decide to do their own payroll because their company contains a very few of the employees. But, it is not as simple as it may seem. Rates change each year. If you fail to pay on time, or enter incorrect information, this could lead to penalties and interests. Above all, incorrect payroll procedures may call for the need of an IRS audit, and I am sure you know how expensive and time consuming it is.
  2. Many business owners fail to understand the financial statements. This happens because they do not know where to look and most importantly what to look out for. You must ask yourself; do you know enough about accounting to spot the troubles in your accounting? If you do not, it is strongly recommended that you take some basic accounting classes in order to avoid the accounting blunders.
  3. It is very important to keep a close eye on the company’s ‘cash’ position. It is one very important piece that is often neglected or overlooked. Just because the profit & loss sheet seems fine for the given month does not mean the company’s cash flow is healthy. You may often overlook the cash that is tied up by the customers who still have to pay for vendors who require a deposit. Be very attentive in this matter.
  4. If you think that only you can understand your books, because it is your company and you fostered it, let me tell you that you are quite wrong here. Bankers, auditors, IRS, your accounting partner – all these people can determine a profitable and sound strategy for you. Accounting is a standard thing. The process of paying money and recording the revenues are all universally the same, though the method to process them may vary for every business.

Instead of finding yourself lost in your business finances, it is always better to search for help. Take time to improve your business finances. You cannot by any means handle it all alone. You might have heard of the saying- it takes a village to raise a family, the same way, it takes a community to nurture the development of small businesses.