Are you prepared to manage your cash flow this year?

​A cash flow shortage is the number one reason why small businesses fail, but even mid-sized and large companies need smart cash flow management to survive and thrive. Insufficient cash forces companies to make difficult decisions about who is going to get paid and when. Unfortunately, this can lead to vendors and suppliers being paid late, being overdue on rent, and even employees waiting on paychecks.

So, are you ready to manage cash flow for your business?

#1 PLANNING AND FORECASTING. Effective cash flow management hinges on predicting when cash in-flows will slump to hold onto enough cash during surges to fill in the gaps.

#2 REDUCING SPENDING. Understanding where spending has exceeded (or is on pace to exceed) budgeted amounts is a surefire way to identify areas that need to be looked at more critically. The goal is to improve profit margins without stifling future business growth.

#3 SUSTAINING CASH IN-FLOWS. Anticipate cash flow valleys by understanding whether your business has any seasonality that will affect revenue. Look at revenue numbers and sales figures by month and compare them to historical data from previous years.

#4 FINANCING. When your business needs to bring in more money quickly, you may need to lean on outside financing in the form of a bank loan or line of credit. Working capital provides the resources needed to continue, and even expand, daily operations. Bringing in additional capital improves cash flow, making it easier to manage the lifeblood of the business and facilitate long-term strategic planning.

A bookkeeper’s expertize is instrumental in managing your cash flow. If you need help finding bookkeeping services that fit your business needs, contact us!

Launch A New Business in 2024: Ultimate Startup Checklist

Launching a new business venture in 2024? Congratulations on taking the plunge into entrepreneurship! To ensure a smooth takeoff, here’s a comprehensive checklist that will guide you through the crucial steps of launching your dream business.

1. Craft a Solid Business Plan: A roadmap is essential. Outline your business idea, target market, competition analysis, and financial projections. A well-thought-out business plan is your compass through the unpredictable terrain of entrepreneurship.

2. Legal Foundations: Register your business, obtain the necessary licenses, and explore any industry-specific regulations. This not only legitimizes your operations but also protects your venture in the long run.

3. Financial Setup: Establish a robust financial framework. Open a business bank account, set up accounting systems, and secure initial funding. Whether it’s through personal savings, loans, or investors, a healthy financial foundation is critical.

4. Build Your Brand: Craft a compelling brand identity. This includes a memorable logo, a professional website, and an engaging social media presence. In the digital age, your online presence is often the first interaction potential customers have with your brand.

5. Target Market Research: Know your audience inside out. Conduct thorough market research to understand your potential customers, their needs, and your competitors. This insight will inform your marketing strategies and help you tailor your offerings to meet market demands.

6. Create a Marketing Plan: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. Utilize both online and offline channels to reach your target audience. From social media campaigns to traditional advertising, a well-executed marketing plan will generate engagement around your brand.

7. Secure Your Digital Presence: In an era dominated by technology, cybersecurity is non-negotiable. Protect your business and customer data by implementing robust cybersecurity measures. From firewalls to secure payment gateways, invest in airtight digital security.

8. Operational Infrastructure: Establish operational processes and workflows. From supply chain management to customer service protocols, having a solid infrastructure in place ensures efficiency and scalability as your business grows.

Our goal is to make all of our clients’ lives easier while also helping them build successful businesses. If you’re ready to take action and feel empowered by your finances, we look forward to connecting with you and helping you take control of your finances.

Three Financial Statements That Every Business Owner Needs To Understand

Financial statements are an essential part of small business finances. They provide a snapshot of a business’s financial health and performance. Each one provides valuable information that can be used to make decisions about the future of the business. Understanding these statements is essential for any business owner who wants to make informed decisions about their finances.

What are financial statements?

Financial statements summarize a business’s financial performance over a specific period, such as a quarter or a year. These statements include three direct reports: the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement.

1. Balance sheet. The balance sheet expresses the financial position of a business. It shows three things about a business’s financial health: its assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity (or capital). When combined, these three elements make up the worth of the business for the period the balance sheet covers.

2. Income statement. Also called the Profit and Loss (P&L) statement, the income statement helps determine whether the business turned a profit or loss for each period of time. An income statement summarizes a business’s profitability and financial results for a period. It focuses on revenue and expenses. This financial report shows what it costs to create your products and services and keep the business running. It is handy to compare how a business’s revenues increase or decrease over multiple periods.

3. Cash flow statement. A cash flow statement measures how well cash flows through a business to keep operations running, pay employees, pay bills, and invest in opportunities. It is the third primary financial statement businesses must produce. Cash flow statements enable the business owners and partners to understand how a business runs: if there’s sense, process, and predictability in the operations, and if the business is on solid financial footing.

Anyone can learn how to create and draw insights from a business’s financial reports. Investors, business owners, and managers need to understand the results and trends to drive the business successfully.

Unsure of where you stand financially, we’d love to help! Schedule a call. We can help come up with a solution customized for your needs.

Enjoy The Holidays With These Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to prepare for joyful celebrations. The holidays can be an exciting time for many, but they can also bring on financial stress.

That’s why we’ve put together some budgeting tips to help you make the most of the holidays while keeping your finances in check.

1. Plan Your Budget Early.

Start by setting a clear holiday budget. Consider your personal and business expenses, such as gifts, decorations, and year-end bonuses, and ensure that you allocate funds for each category.

2. Separate Business and Personal Finances.

Maintain a clear distinction between your business and personal finances. Avoid dipping into your business accounts for personal holiday expenses.

3. Track Your Spending.

Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to monitor your holiday expenses in real-time. Tracking your spending helps you stay accountable and make necessary adjustments.

4. Be Careful With Credit Cards.

If a credit card is needed to make necessary purchases, use a card with lower interest rates. This will give you peace of mind knowing that it can be paid off without worrying about accruing more debt.

5. Set a Cap on Entertaining.

If you’re hosting holiday parties or gatherings, set a reasonable budget for food and decorations. Potluck-style events can help distribute costs among guests.

6. Start Early.

Shopping ahead of time allows you to take advantage of sales and discounts. Early planning also helps distribute expenses over several weeks or months.

If you have any questions or need financial guidance during this time, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help you navigate the season with confidence and peace of mind.

8 Ways to Manage Overwhelm as a Small Business Owner

The entrepreneurial journey can be a rollercoaster, and we want to help you stay on top of the ride. So, today, we’re sharing some valuable tips on how to combat entrepreneur burnout and keep your inspiration alive.

1. Prioritize Self-Care.

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. In fact, it’s essential for your well-being and your business. Schedule regular breaks, exercise, and maintain a healthy diet. Remember, a healthy you is a productive you.

2. Set Boundaries.

Learn to say no when necessary. Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life can help you avoid overworking and maintain a work-life balance.

3. Delegate and Outsource.

You can’t do it all alone. Delegate tasks to your team or consider outsourcing. This allows you to focus on what you do best and reduces the weight on your shoulders.

4. Time Management.

Efficient time management is crucial. Plan your day, prioritize tasks, and allocate time for each. Tools like time-blocking can help you stay organized.

5. Stay Passionate.

Reignite your passion for your business. Remind yourself why you started and the impact you want to make. This can provide a much-needed motivational boost.

6. Seek Support.

Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, join business groups, or find a mentor. Sharing experiences and challenges can be a great source of support and motivation.

7. Regular Breaks.

Don’t skip vacations or downtime. Regular breaks can help you recharge and return with fresh ideas and energy.

8. Celebrate Wins.

Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging your successes can boost morale and keep you moving forward.

Remember, it’s normal to experience burnout from time to time. The key is recognizing it and taking action to prevent it or recover from it. Burnout doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it’s a reminder that you’re pushing the boundaries of your potential.

Facing the challenges of managing your business finances? We’re here to support you every step of the way.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Successful 4th Quarter

Fourth quarter planning is crucial for business owners as it sets the stage for a successful year-end and prepares your business for the challenges and opportunities of the upcoming year. Here are some key areas to focus on during your fourth quarter planning:

  1. Budget Assessment: Evaluate your current year’s budget and compare it to actual results. Identify any variances and adjust your budget for the next year accordingly.
  2. Cash Flow Analysis: Ensure you have a clear understanding of your cash flow situation going into the fourth quarter and prepare a cash flow projection for the next year.
  3. Tax Planning: Review your tax situation and assess opportunities for tax optimization, such as making necessary deductions or contributions before year-end.
  4. Prepare year-end financial statements, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, for internal analysis and potential reporting to stakeholders or investors.
  5. Review and update your business plan and long-term strategic goals. Identify areas for growth, diversification, or cost-cutting.
  6. Conduct performance evaluations and set goals for the next year. Consider offering incentives or bonuses to motivate and retain key employees.
  7. Ensure that all financial records are organized for year-end tax reporting. Consult with a tax professional to take advantage of any available deductions or credits.
  8. Plan your holiday marketing campaigns and promotions to boost year-end sales. Consider how you’ll carry this momentum into the first quarter of the new year.
  9. Assess the need for equipment, technology upgrades, or facility improvements. Budget for necessary capital expenditures and plan for financing if needed.
  10. Ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements, including business licenses, permits, and industry-specific regulations.

Going into the fourth quarter, many businesses pull out all the stops to source new business and bring in whatever income they can. But the 4th quarter also provides the perfect opportunity to assess the financial health of your company and ensure a strong start to next year. Need help with the financial side of things? We’re here to help!

Summer Bookkeeping Tips: Stay Organized Amidst the Sunny Season

Summer is in full swing. The first thing most business owners avoid when the weather improves is generally the tedious things. Like staying on top of your bookkeeping and financials. But as the summer sun shines bright, it’s important to keep your business’s financial records just as radiant. So, we’ve put together some helpful tips to ensure your bookkeeping stays on track during the sunny season.

Streamline your expense tracking

Whether it’s business trips, conferences, team outings, or summer promotions, make sure to accurately record all expenses and keep receipts organized. This will simplify your bookkeeping process and make tax time a breeze.

Embrace cloud-based bookkeeping

Take advantage of cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online, which enables you to access your financial data securely from anywhere. This flexibility allows you to enjoy your summer adventures while staying connected to your business’s financial health.

Review your budget

Summer often brings unique business opportunities and challenges. Take time to reassess your budget and adjust your financial goals for the upcoming months. Ensure you allocate resources strategically to make the most of the season’s potential.

Stay on top of invoicing

Don’t let delayed payments disrupt your summer flow. Send out invoices promptly and follow up with any overdue payments. Maintaining a healthy cash flow is crucial for a successful season.

Remember, even during the summer, your business’s financial well-being deserves attention. Implement these tips to maintain smooth bookkeeping practices and enjoy a stress-free summer.

If you don’t want to handle any of your bookkeeping over the summer, then a great option is to hire us to do it for you! Then you really can have your cake and eat it too. Get in touch with us today.

5 Important Things to Do After Tax Season for Small Business Owners

Tax season may be over, but your responsibilities haven’t ended just yet. Here are some of the best tips for keeping taxes a priority for your 365 days a year.

  1. Use the right business cloud accounting software. One of the best ways to stay on top of your taxes is to use business accounting software. By investing in accounting software, you won’t have to worry about untracked expenses or missing documents.
  2. Track your spending and have regular budget check-ins. Aim to track all your spending throughout the year so that none of your fixed and variable expenses are hard to pin down once tax season rolls around. If you don’t track your spending and expenses, you could be hit with fines later, or you may lose sight of possible deductions when filing your taxes.
  3. Keep important deadlines top of mind. If you want to have monthly or quarterly expense check-ins, keep those on a calendar, and set deadlines for when you want to track your expenses. Keeping critical dates and deadlines organized will help you at tax time.
  4. Separate personal and business finances. Keeping the corporate veil intact is important from a business management perspective. When the two parts are separated, it will be easier to track your business’s expenditures and revenues, in addition to measuring growth.
  5. Cycle old files into storage. You’ll find it easier to keep track of your business’s financial records if you cycle through them on a yearly basis. Storing a year’s worth of records in storage every tax season will keep your workspace decluttered and force you to stick to a yearly filing system, keeping disorganization at bay.

The new tax year is upon us, so taking the opportunity to streamline your bookkeeping will help you seriously de-stress. We can help you get started on the right foot — your future self will thank you.

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!

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!