What Is A CFO?

What Is A CFO?

As a business owner, do you know the difference between a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a CFO (Chief Financial Officer)?

In the finance world, there are a lot of terms thrown around that even those who run a business sometimes don’t fully understand. And there’s no shame in that! You started your business because you’re passionate about your particular industry, and sometimes there’s just no time to brush up on all the financial jargon.

However, if you’re looking to take more control of your business’ finances, or would just like to be more “in the know” about what’s going on financially, these are important terms to be familiar with and know the differences between. Here’s our breakdown:

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

To put it very basically, CPA is a professional designation for accountants in Canada, with CPA Canada being the organization that represents the profession. When an accountant has CPA after their name that means they have completed:

  • a university degree (or equivalent);
  • a couple of years of practical work experience;
  • and professional level exams in order to receive the CPA designation.

In addition to this, an ongoing 40 hours a year of professional development is required to maintain the CPA designation. In other words, if you’re hiring a CPA in Canada, you can pretty much guarantee you’re hiring someone incredibly knowledgeable and trustworthy! They’re someone you know you can rely on to provide the best advice on how you should reach your short and long-term goals or improve your financial results.

What Does a CPA Do?

We’re of the mind that most businesses can highly benefit from having a professional accountant on their team, whether that be someone who can be visited in-person, or a virtual accountant, like us!

Having an accountant oversee your finances gives you more insight into your business, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to make better, more solid business decisions.

A CPA can help you identify problems before they become serious, and in times of financial difficulty, they’ll be able to help guide you with expert advice. Plus, in the event of an audit or other challenges, you can be certain that your accountant will have all the detailed records you need to make your way through. And do you absolutely dread tax time? Well, a CPA can help you out there too! Taxes are one of the main things for which CPAs are hired to handle. We’re basically tax wizards!

Even though adding an accountant to your team is an expense, in the end, it can save you a ton of money and trouble.

When To Hire a CPA

You don’t need a large business in order to work with a CPA. In fact, a CPA can be useful for any size of business, especially for those just getting started who require start-up counselling, need help putting a business plan in place, or need help securing financing.

CPAs are hired by people in government, education, not-for-profits, and the public sector. They are also more affordable for smaller companies to work with, whereas a CFO can be more costly.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

A CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, is a senior-level executive in a business who manages the finances, promotes financial stability, and encourages fiscal success.

What Does a CFO Do?

A better question might be, what doesn’t a CFO do? Because when it comes to a company’s finances, they pretty much do it all!

A CFO oversees a business’s daily financial operations, resource allocation, and changes to capital and profit. They work with the finance and accounting department to predict the effects of operational decisions, providing strategic advice on the efficiency of expenditures as well as anticipating and promoting future trends. To ensure the company is within budget, they also manage and approve their organization’s financial decisions.

These are just some of the things a CFO does. However, the specific duties and responsibilities vary slightly depending on the company they are working for and the size of the budget. For a list of all possible tasks a CFO can perform, click here!

When To Hire A CFO

Deciding when to hire a CFO can be tricky. Hire one too soon, and you may not be able to afford them—hire one too late, and you may miss out on chances to push your business forward.

Typically, CFOs aren’t hired by smaller businesses. Most businesses do not hire CFOs until they’re making $50 million in annual revenue. At least, not in-house!

But what if your business isn’t yet big enough to warrant or afford an in-house CFO, but you’d still like to bring one on for your growing business, or to help manage persistent challenges? That’s where an outsourced or virtual CFO can help… and yes, The Number Works offers this service!

Virtual CFO Services

A virtual CFO is a great choice for smaller but growing businesses who’d like some of the advantages of a CFO, without the hefty price tag.

While a virtual CFO won’t physically be in-office with you, they’ll always be one phone call, Zoom chat, or email away! And as your virtual CFO, our number one goal is to help you grow your profits so you can continue to “level up” your business.

If you’re wondering if our virtual CFO services could be a good fit for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE 30-minute consultation!

Think a Virtual CFO or CPA is Right For You?

If you’re looking for a virtual CFO or virtual CPA for your business, we at The Number Works are willing to answer the call!

Located in Hamilton Ontario, we’re a virtual financial coaching and accounting firm that is passionate about partnering with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their businesses and profits.

If you feel like a virtual CPA or a virtual CFO is something you could benefit from, get in touch with us today. Let’s talk!

Important Tax Information for the 2022 Tax Filing Season

Important Tax Information for the 2022 Tax Filing Season

Have you left your taxes to the last minute? If so, you’re not alone!

April is usually our busiest month here at The Number Works. We get many last-minute calls from people looking for assistance with their income taxes. Of course, we’re already hard at work for our usual clients, but we always try to help as many people as possible.

If you’ve been putting off your taxes because you’re too busy or stressed out, we strongly recommend that you start immediately. Why? Because some deadlines are coming up fast, and you do NOT want to miss them!

Upcoming Important Tax Deadlines

Unfortunately, you may have already missed some important tax dates throughout March, such as the deadline for contributing to your RRSP or your first installment payment due date. However, the most important dates are post-March:

  • April 30th – Deadline for filing your tax returns and paying the balance due.
  • June 15th – Deadline for filing self-employed tax returns (balancing owing still must be paid on April 30th).
  • June 15th – Second installment payment for 2022.
  • September 15th – Third installment payment for 2022.
  • December 15th – Fourth installment payment for 2022.

Your Tax Return To-Do List

If you’re handling your taxes yourself this year or you have paid someone to do them for you, here are the things that you need to keep in mind.

Check Your CRA Account

While CRA accounts are extremely secure, there have been security breaches in the last few years, resulting in some accounts locking down. If this happened to you in the past, you likely already know it by now. However, if there is another security breach or something has gone wrong with your login or personal information, it’s better to find out ASAP. You don’t want that kind of stressful situation at the end of April when you file!

If you don’t yet have an online CRA account, we highly recommend signing up for one. Not only is it the easiest way to file your tax returns and provide your payment, but it’s also a one-stop-shop for many of your important financial documents.

If you need to check a previous year’s tax returns, they’ll be there. Want to know your refund status? It will be right at the top of the page! Setting up your account is easy as well, as you only need many of the same documents you need to file your taxes (see list below).

Keep Important Documents On Hand

Whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or hiring an accountant to do them for you, there are some documents and information that you’ll need:

  • Social insurance numbers for you and your family members
  • Net income
  • Spouse’s net income
  • Dependants’ net income
  • Dates of birth for family members
  • 2020 notice of assessment
  • Total number of installment payments to the CRA
  • Income slips (T3, T4, T5, and others)
  • All expenses
  • Slips applicable to your specific situation

Set Aside Some Time

The most challenging part of doing your taxes returns is usually starting them. Once you have begun, it’s usually simply a matter of simply plugging numbers in. The trick is getting started!

Our advice would be to look at your schedule and book a time to do your taxes, just like you’d schedule in any other event. Treat it as an unmissable appointment.

If you aren’t planning on doing your taxes yourself, you must contact your accountant—or whoever is handling them—as soon as you can. The end of the month is rapidly approaching, and time is needed to complete them.

You can call us at The Number Works to see if we have time to complete your taxes, but with all of the calls we’ve been fielding recently, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to have them done by April 30th. In other words, call us as soon as possible!

The Number Works has worked with small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Hamilton community for years to help get them the maximum refunds possible. We know all of the possible deductions and credits, which is why people come to us for help with their tax returns.

The tax deadline is rapidly approaching, but if you wish to find out if we can help you, please feel free to get in touch with us today!

Running Reports in Quickbooks

Running Reports in Quickbooks

How much insight do you have into your business’s finances?

At The Number Works, we work hard to ensure that our clients completely understand their businesses’ financials and that they’re fully aware of what is happening with their bottom line.

But what if you’re going at it alone without an accountant, bookkeeper, or other financial professionals? How can you get the kind of financial insights that you need to grow your business?

Let us introduce you to a powerful QuickBooks Online feature that can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your finances: Reports!

QuickBooks Online

Suppose you currently handle your finances through Excel spreadsheets and put your business receipts in a box. In that case, it’s definitely time for a significant upgrade in the way you manage your financial information!

There are many online accounting systems that can help you make this upgrade, but our favourite, by far, is QuickBooks Online (QBO).

In our opinion, QBO’s cloud-based service offers business owners the best mix of features, ease of use, and affordability. As everything is hosted in the cloud, you can access information about your business’s finances on any device that has an internet connection. And with its flexible plan structure, you can pick the version of QBO that best meets your needs and budget!

QBO Reports

There are over 120 reports that you can run through QuickBooks Online, depending on your plan. These reports can offer you insights into almost every aspect of your business, including:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Inventory
  • Banking
  • Payroll
  • Accounting
  • Budgets
  • …And many more!

Many businesses will only use a small number of these reports, while others might use all 120. The best part about QBO is that you can customize your Reports Center to only see the reports that apply to your situation.

How to Run a Report

To get started, click on the Reports option in the sidebar. You’ll then need to pick one of the categories. At the top of the screen, you’ll see several options, including Standard, Custom, and Management. After you’ve learned how to set up reports, you can focus on these other options. For now, select Standard.

This is the area where you select the type of report you want to run. If you wish, you can click on the Star next to a report, and it will appear in Favorites at the top of the Standard report page for easy access.

Once you’ve selected a report category, it will appear on the screen. To update your report at any time, you can click on “Run Report.”

Customize Your Reports

From here, you have many options for customizing the information you see in your chosen report.

For example, you can select a date range at the top for your report from the presets, or you can choose “Custom” if you only want to see a specific set of dates.

You can also select either accrual or cash-basis accounting. You have the option to compare your current report to a previous period or customize the report so you won’t need to see any rows that contain zeros.

At the top of the report, you can select how you want the information sorted, along with adding notes. Notes can be an invaluable feature if you plan on sharing reports with an accountant or bookkeeper.

If you click on the “Customize” option to the right, you can pick more specific options, including filters. You can then save all of these customizations, allowing you to access your customized reports from the Reports menu in the future without needing to alter any of the settings!

Creating reports is easy, but the tricky part is understanding them. That’s where The Number Works comes in! We can help you get a better handle on your business by teaching you how to interpret the numbers to ensure you know the state of your current finances.

The Number Works also helps small business owners learn how to use some of the more complex features of QuickBooks Online, including reporting. If you’d like to learn more about QuickBooks Online and how it can help you grow your business, please feel free to get in touch with us today!

Getting to Know Your Financial Statements

Getting to Know Your Financial Statements

Are you aware of the state of your small business’s current finances?

If you run a business, learning how to read financial documents accurately is key to financial health! You need to know exactly where your money is going to and coming from, giving you the knowledge to cut unnecessary costs and find new sources of revenue.

Of course, not everyone is a professional bookkeeper or accountant, so many people need financial information to be presented in a way that is accessible and easy to absorb.

Here are the different types of financial statements that you need to know about in the world of business:

Different Kinds of Financial Statements

Income Statement

Simply put, this statement shows the amount of revenue that a business is generating within a specified period. It could be monthly, quarterly, or annual. If you’re looking to see your profits and losses, then your income statement will be your first stop!

A few of the aspects of your income statement you want to explore are:

  • Your Gross Revenue/Gross Sale – The amount of money you’ve made in a set period.
  • Your Returns and Allowances – The money that you stand to lose because of sales and other discounts.
  • Your Net Revenue – How much money you have after subtracting your returns and allowances.
  • Your Operating Expenses – How much money you spent to keep your business running (rent, wages, supplies, etc.).
  • Your Cost of Goods Sold – How much you spend to purchase your inventory.
  • Your Income Tax – How much you must pay in taxes to the government.

This is just a selection of the points you can explore in your Income Statement. If you’d like some assistance going through the entire document, we’d be happy to help!

Cash Flow Statement

Your Cash Flow Statement should tell you how much money is going in and out of your business over a period of time. It’s usually divided into three parts:

  • Investing Activities: Tracking the losses and gains of your business’s investments.
  • Financing Activities: Tracking the equity and debt of your business.
  • Operating Activities: Tracking the money and expenses covering your business’s operations.

Balance Sheet

Your Balance Sheet is an overview of everything your business holds, including your liabilities, assets, and equity. Your total assets should equal your liabilities and equity to ensure your financial health.

  • Liabilities: Debts that your company took out to pay for your expenses. These can be long-term (mortgages, business loans) and short-term (operating expenses, payroll).
  • Assets: Items of value that are owned by your business. These can be long-term (equipment, property, investments) and short-term (cash, inventory, securities).
  • Equity: This is the amount of money that currently belongs to you/your shareholders as the owners of your company.

How Quickbooks Online Can Help

The secret of generating accurate and concise financial statements for yourself and your business is to have all of your financial information kept in a single, safe place. If you need to pull data from several different sources, getting a complete picture of your financial health will be a huge headache.

However, everything you need is right there when you use an accounting program like QuickBooks Online! Once you’ve set it up for your business, it keeps track of everything, including your income, cash flow, costs, all in and outgoing invoices, and much more.

The main thing that keeps small business owners from using QuickBooks Online is a fear of a steep learning curve. Surely a comprehensive piece of accounting software is only meant for professionals, right? Not at all!

The beauty of QBO is that anyone can use it, no matter their level of financial literacy. In fact, by learning how to use this software, you’ll be teaching yourself how to better understand financial statements as you go, putting yourself in a much better position to run your business.

In addition, as QBO tracks all of your financial info in real-time, you can check in on your financial health whenever you want. This feature makes QBO an incredible resource for those looking to automate their financial reporting!

If you’ve never used QuickBooks Online before, we at The Number Works would be happy to help train you to use it. We’ve worked with many individuals and businesses across Ontario to teach them to use QBO to keep track of their financial health. So, if you’re interested in setting yourself up for financial success in 2022, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!

2022 Is the Year to Upgrade to QuickBooks

2022 Is the Year to Upgrade to QuickBooks

Are you ready to make some changes to your business in the New Year?

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there’s an old joke that no one can remember their resolutions by February. The reason why is because most New Year’s resolutions are more like wishes than they are goals with strategies behind them. If you’re going to make some positive changes in the new year, you need a goal with a plan, not a resolution!

If you’re a small business owner, you might “resolve” to better manage your finances in the new year. But to do it properly, you need the right tools. Some people decide to hire a bookkeeper or accountant to manage their books, but if you want to do it yourself, a tool like QuickBooks Online is invaluable and can help set you up for success in 2022!

Why QuickBooks Online?

Though there are many different kinds of accounting software out there, we at The Number Works prefer QuickBooks Online. Our preference comes from working with many small businesses over the years and helping manage their finances.

Simply put, QBO offers the best mix of financial management tools at an affordable price. It’s not endlessly complicated, so anyone can learn to use it effectively. And most importantly, it offers increased functionality depending on your needs. In other words, QBO’s features can grow with your business.

QuickBooks Online Packages

For a small business just starting out, we would recommend the EasyStart package. It includes everything you need to run the basics of your business’ finances. With EasyStart, you can begin to keep track of everything you need to maintain the health of your books!

If you’re a more established small business, then the Essentials package might be a better fit for you. It includes everything in the EasyStart package but also allows for billing and payment management, multi-currency support, time tracking, and multiple users.

Finally, if your small business is rapidly growing and you need more complex features, the Plus package can help. It includes project profitability—a significant benefit if you’re working on a few new projects—and inventory tracking, which is super helpful if you run any kind of online or brick-and-mortar store.

How to Set Up QBO for Your Business

After a very busy December, the last thing you might want is to spend time getting a brand-new QuickBooks Online account set up. But believe it or not, it’s incredibly straightforward.

All you need to do is import your business’s financial information into QBO. That should include your bank accounts, credit cards, regular customers, etc. Once that information is in there, all of these accounts will automatically update, meaning that you’ll never need to manually input data again. That’s a major timesaver!

But What About Once You’ve Set It Up?

When we speak with our clients about using QBO, it isn’t the setup that worries them, it’s the multitude of features that they might not know how to use. Fortunately, we’re here to help!

Teaching small business owners how to use QBO and customize it for their business is part of what we do here at The Number Works. Of course, as a small business owner, you might only use a few of the many features that QBO offers. But there are big benefits for those who invest time into learning the ins and outs of the program.

With our small business experience, we know exactly where you can get the best bang for your buck out of QuickBooks Online, and can show you where you should put your attention. As accountants, we can’t tell you how much easier our job is when all of the financial information for a company is kept in one place. When stored in QuickBooks Online, it’s in the Cloud. That means there’s never any danger of losing information in the event of a hard drive failure or accident. So long as you have your login information, you can get access to your finances on any device, whether that be a desktop, phone, or tablet!

To learn more about how The Number Works can teach you how to set up QuickBooks Online this year, please feel free to contact us today! Together, we can prepare your business so your 2022 is much more organized than your 2021, setting you up for success in the new year!

Worried about getting your books cleaned up by the end of the year? The Number Works can help!

Clean Up Your Books Before the End of 2021!

Are you already thinking about buying presents for the holiday season? If so, you should probably be thinking about your books too!

When you’re a small business owner, a year can pass in what seems like the blink of an eye. One moment, you’ve just finished cleaning up your books at the end of the year, the next moment… hey, it’s December! Time to do it all over again!

If you’ve only just realized how far behind you are at preparing your books for the end of the year, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to get everything in order!

Keep Your Accountant in the Loop

If you work with a professional to maintain your books, then it’s vital they have every important financial document in their possession by the end of the year.

Here at The Number Works, we work very hard to ensure that our clients’ books are in top shape year-round, but that’s only possible if we are in constant communication.

If you only speak to your accountant once a year, they might be missing vital documents they need to do their job. A professional accountant or bookkeeper should always keep you in the loop about your business’ financial health, but it’s up to you to supply the documents they need to determine it!

The upside of keeping in close communication with your accountant is that if there are any problems with your finances, they’ll know immediately and can handle the situation quickly and professionally.

Generally, your accountant should have:

  • Your financial statements for the year.
  • A full copy of your bookkeeping records.
  • Payroll records.
  • All office expenses (including home office).
  • Vehicle information.
  • Income tax assessments.

If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership—or your accountant also handles your personal taxes—you should also include your T4, T4A, T3, and T5 slips.

Hire Someone to Help

Of course, if you don’t already have an accountant working for you, finding one this late in the year could seem like a stressful task. Not so! In fact, it could be a perfect time.

Most people start to panic and look for an accountant or tax professional in the first quarter of every year. That tends to be a busy period for accountants. Everyone is looking for help with their income taxes, so we field many calls around that time. By contacting The Number Works in the fourth quarter of the year, you could also ensure that you’ll be set up for the tax season in a few months!

Set Up Quickbooks Online

The best way to make sure that your books are entirely in order by the end of the year is to maintain them as you go. And the easiest way to do that is to use an online accounting program.

We find Quickbooks Online offers small businesses an excellent level of flexibility matched with ease of use. Basic accounting features, like invoice and bill tracking, can keep all of your financial documents in one place, streamlining the organizational process at the end of the year.

While we’re big fans of many of QBO’s more advanced features, they aren’t usually necessary for many small businesses. With that in mind, you can often pick a less expensive subscription that will supply your company with everything you need to keep track of your finances at an affordable price. And if you do want to get into the more complicated QBO features, we’d be more than happy to teach you everything you need to know!

Another plus of QBO is all of the financial information contained within is easily shareable with your bookkeeper or accountant. If they already have access, you may not even need to lift a finger to get them what they need.

With gift-giving, big to-do lists, and general holiday stress, the end of the year tends to be one of the busiest possible times. For small business owners, that’s compounded by the panic of needing to get their books in order. So hiring a professional accountant or learning QuickBooks for yourself is the holiday gift that just keeps on giving! Getting that problem off your plate will instantly relieve much of the holiday stress and help you get your small business’ finances into great shape for next year.

Feel free to contact The Number Works today, and we can help you finish off your 2021 finances and set your small business up for future success!

Getting Started with Quickbooks Online for Your Small Business

Getting Started with Quickbooks Online for Your Small Business

Does the daily management of your small business’s finances ever give you a stress headache?

The reality of being a small business owner is that everything is on your shoulders. You don’t have a boss; you ARE the boss! While that can be incredibly gratifying, it can also be very stressful. There’s no one else to blame if things go wrong. If there are any mistakes when it comes to managing your finances, it’s entirely on you.

As a small business owner, the smart thing to do is put a comprehensive system into place to monitor and maintain your business’s financial health. For some small business owners, that can involve hiring a bookkeeper or accountant. However, many new small businesses don’t yet have the resources necessary to bring on such professionals. In this case, they need to have an easy way to make sure that their financial data is at their fingertips at all times. Enter QuickBooks Online!

Why Go for QBO?

While there are many online accounting programs out there, QuickBooks Online is our favourite here at The Number Works. Not only does QBO offer an impressive suite of financial management features at an affordable price, but it can also be learned by just about anyone!

As a service, QBO can grow with your business. When your business is just starting out, your financial management needs might be simple, but after a year or two of growth, you’ll need something a little more comprehensive. That’s one of the strengths of QBO—you can delve into its more complex features as needed, while also maintaining the brilliant simplicity of the overall system.

Your First Steps with QBO

The first step to using QBO is determining which package is best for your current business needs.

If you have a small business, you likely won’t need QBO’s most comprehensive services right off the bat. Your options include EasyStart, which provides for all of the basics; Essentials, which allows for multiple users, bill and payment management, multi-currency support, and time tracking; and Plus, which adds project profitability and inventory tracking.

Once you’ve picked your ideal package, you can start setting up QBO for your business. Importing your business’s bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial information into the system should be your next step. Once added, they’ll automatically update, importing up-to-date information regularly. This will save you a ton of time manually inputting financial data.

After this, it’s time to start setting up how you want QBO to organize your information. You can create accounts within the program for different line items in your financial statements. For example, QBO automatically gives you “Expenses” and “Revenue” accounts. That’s fantastic if your expenses and revenue are only coming from single sources, but if you have multiple sources of income, you might want to create some personalized accounts to make it easier to keep track.

Delving Into More Complex Features

QuickBooks Online setup can be a relatively easy, though somewhat time-consuming task. The real trick is learning the more complex parts of the program.

There have been many small business owners who, once they start with QBO, only use a small portion of its features. This is often the case even for business owners who could tremendously benefit from deeper integrations of the software into their business. It’s understandable, but unfortunately, it means that there are many additional benefits of QBO that they’re missing out on!

The best solution to this problem is to hire someone who can teach you all of the details of QuickBooks Online and show you how it can specifically benefit your business. At The Number Works, we can teach you all of the ins and outs of QBO. Our experience with this program and small business owners means that we know exactly the places where you can get the best bang for your buck!

Learning how to use QuickBooks Online is an investment into yourself and your small business. Once you understand how the software works, you can do your own bookkeeping to stay on top of your business’s financial health at all times!

Being a small business owner can be stressful, but the financial management side is always much more manageable when all your financial data and records are in one place that you can readily access. QuickBooks Online will keep things organized and give you an excellent view of how your business is operating. Even better, if you decide to hire a financial professional to take care of your taxes, everything will be ready to send to them, making tax season so much easier!

If you want to learn all about QuickBooks Online, The Number Works is prepared to help! Contact us today, and we can get you and your small business set up for success!

Money-Saving Hacks for Small Businesses

Money-Saving Hacks for Small Businesses

Do you ever look up life hacks on the internet?

There are countless websites out there, all offering life hacks that are guaranteed to change the way you do things. We’re sure that you’ve seen tips like these before:

  • Pour cola into your toilet to make it spotlessly clean
  • Put pancake mix into an empty ketchup bottle for a perfect batter pour
  • Use your car’s seat warmer to keep your pizza box hot on the way home

But when you’re running a small business, you don’t need life hacks; you need money-saving hacks. Unfortunately, these are usually less fun than life hacks. But if you implement these simple hacks at your small business, you could see some significant changes to your bottom line!

Revamp Your Advertising

If you’re a small business (especially a newer one), most traditional advertising and marketing methods simply won’t work for you.

Reaching out with big newspaper ads or TV spots casts too wide a net, not to mention that both marketing methods are costly. If you’re a small business, we encourage you to think about targeted advertising, so you are reaching out to the exact audience you want to capture.

This method is often much cheaper as well, as you can use digital marketing strategies to massively narrow the focus of your campaign. For example, Facebook Ads allow you to specifically pick the audience you want to target, in terms of both demographics and locations. You can also choose your exact budget, guaranteeing that you won’t go over budget.

You can also utilize free marketing platforms like YouTube. By creating a few fun YouTube videos advertising your business, you will have content that you can share on all of your social media profiles!

In other words, when it comes to your marketing, don’t think “big.” Instead, think “targeted.”

Utilize Remote Work

Remote work has become more common than ever. But have you ever considered how powerful it could be to hire remote workers for your business?

We’re not necessarily talking about full-time employees here. If you have repetitive tasks that take up a ton of your time every week, you might want to look at hiring a virtual assistant to help you out part-time. You usually only need to pay them for the time they spend on a task, making them extremely cost-effective for targeted work.

Other reasons to hire remote workers like virtual assistants are that you often don’t need to spend money or time to train them and you don’t need to pay them benefits. If you’re a small business that needs some extra hands, but you can’t afford to bring on new employees, then remote workers might be the way to go!

Review All Your Expenses

Okay, this might not sound like a hack. But you would be surprised at the number of small businesses out there that never look closely at their books to see where they can cut back on expenses.

Monitoring your expenses has become even more critical as we move into a post-pandemic world. Small expenses, like paper supplies, can be a significant drain over the life of your business. It might be time to think about creating a paperless office, especially if you are now working from home!

And if you’ve already transitioned your small business into a home office environment, maybe you should consider staying that way. Not only will it save you big bucks in office rent, but you could also likely write off a part of your mortgage or home rent. We can help you find those savings!

It can also be a challenge to identify these savings if your books are not well-organized. If you have excellent bookkeeping, then finding these expenses should be a piece of cake. In fact, one of the best ways to make sure all of your finances are organized (besides hiring a professional bookkeeper) is our next hack!

Learn to Use QuickBooks Online

Here at The Number Works, we are huge fans of QuickBooks Online. This cloud-based accounting software has entirely changed the game for countless small businesses, including many that we have worked with directly.

In many cases, we take the lead on the management of your finances, but what if you want to do it yourself? Then you need to learn all the ins and outs of QBO! It may sound easy, but it can be trickier than you think. While it’s simple enough to learn the basics, things can get complicated when you get into many of its more advanced financial management features.

That’s why we think one of the best money-saving hacks you can try is getting QuickBooks Online training. It’s one of the reasons why we offer this service to small business owners. It can save you money on hiring an accountant, and it will also deeply immerse you in the financial health of your business. You’ll know exactly what is going on in your business at all times!

Save on Office Supplies

Remember what we said about saving on paper? What if you need paper at work? Well, it might be time to look at your office supplies supplier and see if someone else can offer you a better deal.

You might want to look for savings in places where you would typically pay a premium. For example, how much do you spend on “genuine” ink for your printer? If you use toner, it can cost you hundreds of dollars a year. You can always look into third-party ink or toner cartridges. Just make sure to do your research first, ensuring that they are guaranteed not to damage your printer or copier. But using off-brand products like these can save you a massive amount of money!

Life and small business hacks are fantastic, but nothing beats solid financial management strategies when it comes to saving money. If you want to set yourself up for success in managing your business finances by learning QuickBooks Online, contact us today to ensure that your small business’ finances are always well taken care of!


Bootstrap Your Business By Learning to Manage QuickBooks Yourself

Bootstrap Your Business By Learning to Manage QuickBooks Yourself

Have you ever heard the phrase “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps?”

Nowadays, the phrase has become synonymous with self-reliance and entrepreneurship. The idea is that if you want to succeed, you don’t need any help. You can do it yourself!

But here is the thing about that phrase: it originally meant something was impossible. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is literally an impossible task. If you put on a pair of shoes and try to lift yourself by pulling on your shoelaces, you aren’t going to get very high.

The bottom line is that everyone needs a little help, even entrepreneurs and small business owners. But sometimes that help doesn’t come in the form of a person or a business. At times, it’s in the form of software!

In our experience, some of the best help that a small business owner can get comes from using QuickBooks Online. This comprehensive and accessible piece of software can completely change how you handle accounting at your small business.

It’s Cloud-Based

One reason to start your own business is the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want.

If you are sitting in your home office and need a change of scenery such as going to the park to do some work over your lunch break, you can have it! Well, you can if you use cloud-based software at your work.

QuickBooks Online is entirely cloud-based. That means you can access your account on whatever device(s) you currently have, so long as you have an internet connection. Want to check something quickly on your phone? No problem. Taking a tablet with you to get some work done on the fly? Just log into QBO, and you’re all set.

Another reason why a cloud-based accounting solution can be so valuable is that your entire team can access it wherever they’re located. If you have some remote employees or have an accountant/bookkeeper, you can give them access to your QuickBooks account. Since nothing is stored locally on devices, it’s an ideal solution for decentralized businesses.

Flexible Pricing

Another reason why QBO is an outstanding option for recently-founded small businesses is that you can pick a feature package that is the right price for you. There are currently three pricing packages for QuickBooks, each offering progressively more comprehensive services.

The EasyStart package allows you to track your income and expenses, capture and organize your receipts, invoice and accept payments, track taxes, and much more.

The Essentials package gives you everything in the EasyStart package, but also allows for multiple users and time tracking. It also helps you manage and pay your bills.

The Plus package is their most comprehensive, and includes everything above, plus the ability to track your inventory and project profitability.

No matter the current size of your business, QuickBooks Online offers a package that will give you what you need at a price you can afford!

Financial Management

If you choose one of the more comprehensive packages, you will get access to a variety of valuable financial management features that can help you grow your business.

For example, invoicing can be a pain, especially when you don’t want to keep reminding people to pay. QuickBooks Online does that for you automatically while also automatically tracking all online payments. When your client gets your invoice and pays it, QBO will confirm that the payment has been received. This automation works for many payment methods, including credit cards, bank transfers, and electronic payments.

Paying bills is another area that can take up a ton of your time, but QBO streamlines the entire process. You can pay them directly from QuickBooks, meaning that financial information will be put automatically into your records.

Additionally, you can integrate QuickBooks Online with several online services that might be essential to your business. If you use PayPal or Shopify on a daily basis, these integration features can make your life dramatically simpler! Everything will be automatically tracked and kept in a single location.

The big side benefit of all of these features is that all of the information you need for your taxes will be in a single place. No more annoying shoebox full of receipts to organize!

Learning Everything

The only real issue with QuickBooks Online is that there are so many valuable features that it can be overwhelming. If you aren’t experienced using an online financial management tool, it can seem very difficult to learn to navigate it all.

Thankfully, we have you covered! One of our services here at The Number Works is teaching small business owners everything they need to know about QuickBooks. You don’t need a background in finance to quickly become an expert on the interface. With our guidance, you’ll be taking care of every financial aspect of your business before long!

At The Number Works, we are big believers in helping small business owners grow their businesses and reach the success they’ve always dreamed of. Picking yourself up by your bootstraps might be impossible, but with just a little bit of help, you can rise even higher, bootstraps not necessary! Contact us today, and let us lift you up!

Does Your Business Need a Financial Checkup

Does Your Business Need a Financial Checkup?

When was the last time you went to the doctor for a checkup? Maybe it’s also time for your business to have a financial checkup!

As you get older (and wiser), you start to realize the wisdom of taking care of yourself. You eat better, start exercising, and pay more attention to your overall health. This can include heading to the doctor for regular checkups, as nerve-wracking as they can be. Sometimes, getting a checkup can make the difference between illness and a thriving life!

In many ways, this is similar to how you should be running your small business. Just because things look like they’re going well doesn’t mean there can’t be something on the horizon that could negatively impact your success. That’s why you must regularly give your business a financial “checkup” to confirm everything is “healthy!” There are a few ways you can go about this.

Using a Bookkeeper

Having a bookkeeper take care of your business’ finances is a little bit like wearing a smartwatch with health monitoring features. It will constantly keep you informed about how your body is doing, reporting your heart rate, amount of exercise, health goals, and more.

When you are working with a professional bookkeeper, they will be keeping an eye on every financial aspect of your business. Your profits, expenses, income, invoices- everything will be monitored by a professional who will make sure they are properly accounted for.

If you don’t currently have a bookkeeper, you could also hire one to do a one-time check through all of your financials to get a better idea of how your business is currently doing. This is very similar to heading to the doctor for a checkup. You might walk away having discovered that you’re in excellent health. Or you could find something that needs to be addressed immediately. Either way, a health checkup will leave you with peace of mind, as will financial checkups for your business.

Using QuickBooks Online

Going through all of your finances used to be a time-consuming experience, especially if everything wasn’t fully organized. You’d need to go through individual invoices, bills, and much more to check up on your business’s health. But that’s not the case anymore!

If you use a comprehensive online accounting program, such as QuickBooks Online, all of your financial information will be “accounted for” at a glance! Rather than needing to dig through records, all of your financial info will be right there, ready for you to go through.

Even better, you won’t need to keep an eye on it every day. QuickBooks Online can automatically generate financial reports that give you a quick checkup on your business. You can set these to be created at regular intervals (we’d usually recommend weekly to keep fully informed). And if you find that you don’t have time to go through these reports, we’d be happy to take over the financial monitoring of your business for you!

Cloud-Based Features

Online checkups with doctors are becoming increasingly common because you can do them anywhere, at any time. You don’t need to take off an entire afternoon to head into the doctor’s office. Instead, you simply sit down at your computer (or on your phone or tablet) and get the attention you need.

Thanks to cloud-based features in QuickBooks Online, you get the same level of convenience when you are checking up on your business. You can access your information from anywhere you have an internet connection. Even better, it offers 128-bit SSL encryption with multi-factor authentication to ensure your financial information’s security. As a bonus, all of your information is stored in the cloud, so you never need to worry that your financial data could be stolen if you lose one of your devices.

Flexible Pricing for “Checkups”

Thankfully, something that we (for the most part) avoid in Canada is insane fees for everyday medical expenses like checkups. Fortunately, there is something similar in place for QuickBooks Online!

QBO offers three pricing packages to suit you and your business, so you don’t need to pay more than necessary for your financial checkups. The EasyStart package gives you the basics, and can be a perfect entry point if you’ve never used online accounting before. The best part is that if you decide that you need more features, you can upgrade at any time without being under contract. If you aren’t sure if you need the Essential or Plus packages for the size of your business, we’d be delighted to help you figure it out!

QuickBooks Online is one of the best ways to keep fully informed about the health of your business. If you aren’t sure how to get started using it, we invite you to contact The Number Works today. We can get you up-to-date with all of QBO’s features in no time. This will give you the tools and knowledge you need to make sure your business’ finances are the pinnacle of good health!