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!

Should You Manage Your Own Bookkeeping

Should You Manage Your Own Bookkeeping?

Do you enjoy managing every aspect of your small business?

As a small owner, your time is precious. You might have so much on your plate that time management isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity. Crossing anything off your to-do list probably results in you feeling a lot less stressed out!

This is why we usually suggest small businesses move their bookkeeping and financial management over to professionals. Not only will it save you some panic around tax time, but it will also ensure that your finances are properly maintained year-round. However, many small business owners out there prefer to take care of their own books. They want their finger on the pulse of their business’s financial health all the time.

So, should you manage your own business’s bookkeeping? Here are some things you may want to consider:

How Much Time Do You Have?

When you’re a small business owner, just about everything boils down to time.

You need to manage your employees, work with your customers or clients, do your social media marketing, sell your products and services, and also maintain a healthy work-life balance. That’s a heck of a tall order!

If you find that you have some free time in your week, taking care of your own bookkeeping might be a fantastic idea. It will not only help you keep a close eye on your business’ finances, but also help you develop skills that could pay off in the future. Speaking of skills…

Do You Have Bookkeeping Experience?

If you’ve done bookkeeping for organizations in the past, then doing your own bookkeeping probably makes a lot of sense. You’ve already got the skills!

Bookkeeping is a learned skill set that anyone can pick up. If you have a head for numbers and organization, then taking care of your own books could be a fantastic way to keep your business on track. The more experience you have, the less stress you’ll have to deal with!

Of course, that’s assuming that you already know how to use Quickbooks Online (QBO).

Do You Know How to Use QBO?

Having knowledge of how bookkeeping software works can often mark the difference between feeling confident in taking the reins of managing your finances and feeling intimidated by the prospect of doing your own bookkeeping.

While there are many excellent kinds of accounting software out there, our recommendation is Quickbooks Online. It offers a fantastic mix of advanced features and accessibility, perfect for small business owners looking to do their own bookkeeping.

Additionally, Quickbooks Online is cloud-based! This means you can access your finances anywhere you have an internet connection. There’s also flexible pricing, so you can save money by picking a plan that matches the size of your business.

All of that said, QBO can still be very complicated to use if you don’t already have familiarity with accounting programs. One way that we can help at The Number Works is by providing you with Quickbooks Online training. After we’re finished, you will know the ins and outs of Quickbooks almost as well as we do!

Does It Make Financial Sense?

Taking care of your own books can be an excellent way to save some money early in the life of your small business. However, once your business has grown to a certain level, doing your own bookkeeping could be a mistake.

The more successful your business, the greater the demands your bookkeeping will have on your time. If you want the freedom you need to continue growing your business, you can’t spend the same amount of time doing administrative tasks as when you first started out. At that point, doing your own bookkeeping doesn’t make much fiscal sense.

Additionally, the larger your business, the more chances there are of mismanaging your books. Having a professional accountant or bookkeeper taking care of your finances will guarantee that your financial information is always kept in tip-top shape without you needing to worry. This can be invaluable at around tax time, and can possibly even save you lots of money!

If you’re thinking about doing your own bookkeeping, but you don’t yet know how to use Quickbooks Online, feel free to contact The Number Works today. We would be delighted to help you get started, teaching you everything you need to know to manage the bookkeeping needs of your small business!

Quickbooks Features & Benefits

Quickbooks Features & Benefits

Think fast: What’s your favourite program for managing your small business’s finances?!

For us, there isn’t even a question: It’s Quickbooks!

Though there are many excellent accounting programs out there, we believe that Quickbooks Online offers the most significant benefits to small businesses in Ontario. It was a fantastic piece of software when it was launched almost 40 years ago in 1983, and since then, it has only gotten better!

Here are some of the reasons you might want to consider using Quickbooks to handle your small business’s finances.

Cloud-Based Solution

Nowadays, almost everything is done in the Cloud, and Quickbooks is no exception.

Having an entirely cloud-based accounting solution is an invaluable benefit for small businesses across Canada. No longer do you need to worry about crashed hard drives or lost data. Instead, everything is safely kept in the cloud, eliminating the need for local backups.

With Quickbooks Online, you can access your financial data on just about any device and anywhere you can get an internet connection. Quickbooks offers 128-bit SSL encryption, multi-factor authentication, and other security measures to ensure that your data remains YOURS.

This cloud-based solution is also ideal in times of social isolation. With so many people working from home, you need a solution that they can access from anywhere. Your employees—and accountant/bookkeeper—will all have access to the same data, provided that you choose the correct services. That means that the person utilizing the program will always have access to the most up-to-date data.

Finally, if you use third-party online services in your business, such as PayPal, Shopify, or online banking, you can connect them to Quickbooks Online. This ensures that all of your financial data will be tracked and kept in a single location without needing to spend time cross-referencing and manually recording multiple sources to keep everything up-to-date.

Excellent Mobile Apps

Quickbooks has some outstanding mobile apps available for Android and iOS devices that can make your life way easier!

Imagine checking up on your finances with your phone while you’re lying in bed, or looking at some financial insights on your iPad while sitting on your comfy couch. Because Quickbooks is entirely cloud-based, you can access all available features on whatever device you want, wherever you want!

Financial Management Features

Quickbook is loaded with features designed to make your small business run smoother, and some of the best are their automation tools.

For example, sending out invoices and statements can be such a time-consuming process. But through Quickbooks, your invoices can be sent out automatically without you needing to lift a finger.

Similarly, Quickbooks can receive and automatically track all online payments. Once your client gets their invoice, they pay the invoice with a single click, and QBO will automatically confirm that the payment has been received. It also works for bank transfers, credit card payments, and other electronic payments.

All of this information will be super handy around tax time, and all of it will be ready and waiting for you in QBO!

Flexible Pricing for Your Business

Some accounting software comes with eye-popping pricing. But with Quickbooks Online, you can choose a solution that fits not only your needs but also your pocketbook!

At the moment, there are three different pricing packages available with progressive services. For example, there is the EasyStart package that will give you the basics. If you move up to the Essentials package, you’ll also get multiple user functionality, multi-currency support, and more. Finally, you could opt for the Plus package, which includes the ability to track your inventory and project profitability.

Depending on the size of your business and your current focus, you might be able to save some money by going with one of the cheaper packages. If you aren’t sure which is right for you, we’d be happy to help you figure it out!

While we’re big believers in using Quickbooks to keep your business’s finances on track, there’s one thing that can hold some small business owners back: QBO’s complexity. There are so many fantastic features, reports, and options that it can be overwhelming to learn how to use them all.

That’s where we come in! At The Number Works, we’d be delighted to help you and your employees to learn how to use Quickbooks effectively. You don’t need to have a background in finance to understand all of the available features and become an expert in their use! Or, we can set up everything for you and take care of your finances behind the scenes!

If you aren’t currently a client of The Number Works, we invite you to contact us today. Helping you manage and understand your small business’s finances is our passion!

Why We Recommend QuickBooks

What program do you use to manage your small business’ finances?

There are dozens of effective options out there, but at The Number Works, we have a favourite: QuickBooks Online.

You’ve likely heard of QuickBooks, as it’s one of the most popular and well-known pieces of accounting software available today. Since its launch in 1983, QuickBooks has become the default financial tool for many small businesses, and for an excellent reason. They’ve been remarkably proactive at making sure that their app and products not only keep up with developments in the financial reporting sector but actually lead the way with new features too!

Flexible Pricing

Not every small business is the same. If you have different needs than larger organizations do, you shouldn’t be paying the same price for tax software features that you don’t need.

With QuickBooks, you can choose from three online accounting packages and find one that best suits your needs. If you simply need to track your income, expenses, taxes, invoices, and more, then the EasyStart package might be perfect for you. If your business is rapidly growing, you might benefit from some of the more advanced features, like inventory tracking and project profitability, offered in the Plus plan.

If you’re having trouble deciding which plan is right for you, The Number Works would be happy to help you figure it out!

Tax Season Approaches

While Canadians got a reprieve from handing their taxes in at the end of April 2020, there is—thus far—no indication that the same will be true in 2021. That means you should already be starting to pull together your tax information for the previous year.

Mind you, your taxes may be a bit more complicated this year when you consider the existence of CERB for individuals and pandemic-related tax benefits for businesses. In other words, if you found your taxes to be a headache in years past, be ready for a migraine in a few months!

Tax prep is one of the reasons why we highly recommend you use Quickbooks to manage your finances. Quickbooks Online will keep all of your finances in one place, including your income, expenses, receipts, invoices, and more. It also offers features to help you maximize your tax deductions, along with automatically handling HST. In other words, it’s going to be a big timesaver come tax season!

You Can Access QuickBooks Online From the Cloud

Remote work has become the norm over the last year, meaning that almost all work has become decentralized. As such, effective use of the cloud is more critical than ever for sharing documents between employees who could be working remotely.

With this in mind, Quickbooks being entirely online is an invaluable benefit for small businesses. You can access it from anywhere with an internet connection and on just about any device. Even better, QuickBooks Online offers 128-bit SSL encryption, along with multi-factor authentication. These security measures ensure that your financial data will remain in the cloud, where it belongs.

Another benefit is that you can connect your QuickBooks account with other online services, including PayPal, Shopify, and more, to help keep all of your finances tracked and in one place! It will also connect to most banks, automatically downloading your bank and credit card data daily.

Even though QuickBooks is designed to be user-friendly, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Many small business owners lose all hope when they first open it, overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and features offered to them.

At The Number Works, we’re dedicated to helping small business owners learn to manage their finances. As such, we would be delighted to help show you—or an employee—how to use QuickBooks effectively. If you lack a background in finances and feel in over your head, we can give you the foundation you need to take your business’ finances into your own hands!

We’d even be happy to set up your QuickBooks Online account in its entirety!

To learn more about our QuickBooks Online setup, along with our other financial services, please contact The Number Works today. Let’s get your business set up with QuickBooks so the upcoming tax season will be a breeze!

Accurate Content to Tell Your Financial Story

In order to craft your financial story, it is necessary to have accurate and relevant content. Necessary steps to create and validate this content are:
Building the foundation: Steps to start the creation of your business foundation include

  • Registering your business
  • Getting a business bank account
  • Selecting a system of record to account for your business transactions.

A separate business bank account and a system of record, such as Quickbooks Online, will keep your business out of your personal life allowing you to easily track dollars in and out, as well as alleviate some headaches at tax time.
Create a budget/forecast: Hopefully you have done your business plan already, which means that you should have created a financial forecast for the first three years of your business. Outlining your expected revenue and expenses for the month. If you haven’t yet, this is an important step in creating your financial story content and should be done.
Reconciling your cash: No matter where you are in your business life-cycle, accounting for your cash is important. Utilizing the accounting system that you have selected should allow this to be a painless process. Comparing your bank account to what you have recorded in your accounting system will not only allow you cash flow visibility, it will ensure that your books are accurate. Any missing cheques, erroneous withdrawals or insufficient customer payments will be quickly identified and can be dealt with in a timely manner making sure no dollar is lost.
Close your books monthly: At the end of every month your books should be closed, and financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement) should be created and read. These statements should be reviewed in detail, understanding each line item and what that means for your business. Each month is like another chapter written in your story, and like a story, each chapter is important and none should be skipped without the risk of not fully understanding the story.
Review your actuals against your budget/forecast: With your budget/forecast already created, and your month end financial statements prepared, the next exercise is to compare the two and note any differences, and then to understand why.  This is calculating your variances and creating commentary. You need to be aware of where your company has been to make sure that you keep on track to where you intend to go. If there are any significant changes to your business roadmap a new budget/forecast should be created.

Following these steps will ensure that you have accurate content to craft and understand your financial story. If you need help with any or all of the steps, we would be happy to help!