What Your Business Needs to Succeed in 2024

The start of the year is a good time to take stock and plan your next business moves. Whether you’re a new entrepreneur, or reaching the next stage of growth, these tips can help you make 2024 your best year yet.

Review Your Business Goals. It’s essential to keep your goals in mind and make sure you’re still working towards them. You should review your goals regularly so you can make sure you’re still on track. You may need to adjust your goals as your business grows and changes. But as long as you keep them in mind, you’ll be able to stay focused and achieve them.

Improve Your Marketing. Your marketing is the key to attracting new customers and growing your business. If you’re not happy with your current marketing strategy, now is the time to make some changes. One of the most effective ways to market your business is through digital marketing. This includes things like search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing.

Focus on Customer Service. Your customers are the key to your success. If you don’t provide them with great customer service, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to give your customers the best possible experience. This includes things like responding to customer questions quickly, providing them with helpful information, and following up with them after they’ve used your services.

Stay Up-to-Date With Industry Trends. Keeping up with industry trends is essential for any business, no matter what business you’re in. By being aware of the latest trends, you can make sure your products and services are current and relevant. You can also use trends to your advantage by being one of the first businesses to offer something new to your customers.

Manage Your Financials. Managing your business finances is critical to keeping your business running smoothly and making informed decisions. Neglecting your small business financials could mean missing out on valuable tax deductions, having problems getting loans, and making business decisions that create more problems.

Build Partnerships. Partnerships are a great way to grow your business. By partnering with other businesses, you can tap into new markets and reach more customers. You can also save money on things like marketing and advertising.

By implementing these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a more successful year. When you work with us, we’ll be there for you every step of the way. To learn more, schedule a call with us today!

Month-End Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

As we approach the end of another month, it’s time to ensure your books are in tip-top shape. Here are some valuable month-end bookkeeping tips to keep everything in order.

1. Reconcile Bank Statements.

Start by reconciling your bank statements. Ensure all transactions match between your records and your bank statement. This will help identify any discrepancies or errors.

2. Review Outstanding Invoices.

Go through your accounts receivable and follow up on any outstanding invoices. This is crucial for maintaining cash flow and reducing bad debts.

3. Record Accruals and Prepayments.

Ensure you record any accruals or prepayments for expenses or income. This will provide a more accurate picture of your financial health.

4. Double-Check Tax Obligations.

Verify that you’re up-to-date with tax payments and obligations. Late fees and penalties can add up, so it’s best to stay on top of them.

5. Create Financial Reports.

Generate key financial reports, like your profit and loss statement and balance sheet. These reports offer insights into your business’s financial performance.

6. Plan for Next Month.

Use the end of the month to set financial goals for the upcoming month. This will help you stay proactive in managing your business finances.

Remember, good bookkeeping is not just about compliance; it’s also a powerful tool for decision-making and growth. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance with managing your business finances.

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.

5 Useful Time Tracking Apps for Small Business

Time is the most valuable resource for small business owners. But in order to get adequately compensated for your time, you need to track how you spend it. Here are the 5 useful time tracking apps for small business needs.

1. Toggl: Toggl offers the ultimate in simplicity; just click to start the timer when you begin a task, and click again to stop it when you end it or take a break. Toggl also creates visual reports that show you how you and your employees are actually using your time and which projects are the most profitable. Toggl integrates with popular project management apps such as Asana, Basecamp, and GitHub. It works with one-person businesses or teams.

2. Timesheets.com: Timesheets.com works for both hourly employees and salaried workers who need to track billable hours or time spent on projects. Timesheets.com works with popular payroll companies including QuickBooks, SurePayroll, and ADP; you can also export the data into a wide variety of formats. There are even HR tools, including standardized documents and the ability to store documents privately so only relevant managers can see them.

3. TSheets: Employees can clock in on their smartphones via text, email, voice call, or even Twitter. Crew features let you send entire crew alerts at once or clock them all in and out at the same time. The drag-and-drop schedule creator makes it easy to schedule employees for shifts, such as retail or restaurant work, or particular jobs, such as landscaping or construction. TSheets is well suited for businesses with hourly workers, work crews, or mobile employees, such as field services or construction. It integrates with the most popular accounting and payroll software.

4. Harvest: This time tracking app creates visual reports that show you how much time your team is spending on each project. Employees can use the app’s timers to track their time or input it manually. With the mobile app, it’s easy to track time and billable hours anywhere. You can also track expenses by simply snapping pictures of receipts and automatically pulling data from Harvest into invoices.

5. Hubstaff: The Hubstaff time tracking app runs on computers or mobile apps and builds in plenty of employee monitoring tools. The app tracks mouse movements and clicks, takes random screenshots to show you what employees are actually working on, monitors employee internet use so you can see what websites they’re visiting, and even tracks which apps employees use the most. The mobile app uses GPS to track employees’ time and location on the road; employees can also track time on their mobile devices.

Need help choosing the right time tracking and scheduling software for your business—or any other aspect of managing your employees and your finances? Let us help you handle your business finances while you focus on growing your business.

Summer Financial Health Check: Assessing Your Business’s Financial Well-Being

As the sun shines brightly and the temperatures rise, summer presents the perfect opportunity for business owners to take a step back and conduct a thorough financial health check.

Assessing your business’s financial well-being during this season can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions for the rest of the year. Here are some key steps to consider in your summer financial assessment:

1. Start by analyzing your income and expenses for the first half of the year. Identify any trends or patterns, and compare the figures to your initial projections. This review will give you a clear picture of how your business is performing financially.

2. Review your profit margins and overall profitability. Identify areas where you can reduce costs or increase revenue. This assessment can help you fine-tune your pricing strategies and budget allocations.

3. Take the time to adjust your budget for the second half of the year based on your financial assessment. Account for any changes in income, expenses, or business goals. A well-adjusted budget will serve as a roadmap for the remainder of the year.

4. Consider gathering customer feedback on your products or services. Satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal, repeat customers. Address any concerns or suggestions to enhance customer satisfaction.

5. Engage with financial advisors or accountants to gain valuable insights and expert advice. Their expertise can help you make well-informed financial decisions and set your business up for success.

Conducting a summer financial health check allows you to identify strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities for your business. With this knowledge, you can proactively address any financial challenges and build a solid foundation for continued success throughout the year and beyond.

Looking for help with your business finances? We’ve been working with small business owners to free up more time, get more financial clarity, and create more cash flow in their businesses. Ready to learn more? Book a call to get started!

The Benefits of Hiring Independent Contractors for Your Business

As a business owner, you’re constantly faced with decisions that impact the success and growth of your company. One such decision is whether to hire employees or independent contractors to meet your business’s needs. Hiring independent contractors can offer numerous advantages, and understanding the benefits can help you make an informed choice for your business.

1. Cost-Effectiveness: One of the most significant advantages of hiring independent contractors is cost-effectiveness. Unlike employees, independent contractors are not entitled to benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. This means you can save on payroll taxes and other employee-related expenses, resulting in significant cost savings for your business.

2. Flexibility: Independent contractors provide a high level of flexibility for short-term or project-based work. Whether you need extra help during peak seasons or require specialized skills for specific tasks, independent contractors allow you to scale your workforce as needed without long-term commitments.

3. Specialized Skills: Independent contractors often bring specialized skills and expertise to the table. By hiring contractors with unique talents, you can access high-quality work and knowledge that may not be available within your existing team.

4. Reduced Administrative Burden: Hiring and managing employees comes with various administrative responsibilities, from payroll processing to compliance with labor laws. When you hire independent contractors, many of these administrative tasks are often handled by the contractors themselves, easing your administrative burden.

5. Limited Liability: Independent contractors are responsible for their own business operations and liability. This means that you may have reduced legal exposure compared to hiring employees.

It’s important to note that misclassifying employees as independent contractors can lead to legal issues and fines. Make sure to adhere to legal guidelines and the CRA criteria for determining worker classification.

Discover the seamless experience of working with our expert team. Let us handle your business finances while you focus on growing your business.

5 Step to Conduct a Mid-Year Financial Assessment

A mid-year financial assessment is the best way to evaluate whether or not you are on target to hit your goals. It’s also the perfect time to pivot if you’ve gotten off track. However, to point yourself back in the right direction, you have to know where you’re currently standing:

  1. Check-in With Yourself. First and foremost, how are you feeling about your business at the mid-year mark? Do you feel like you’re on your way to achieving whatever it was you originally set out to achieve? If not, this is a great time to get clear on whether you’re running your business or whether your business is running you.
  2. Revisit Your Budget. The mid-year check-in provides a perfect budget review opportunity. Take a look at what you forecasted for the year in terms of revenue and expenses.
  3. Review Your Financial Statements. Profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements are standard financial documents to review during a financial checkup. Compare your financials right now to your financials from this time last year to trends and cycles.
  4. Evaluate Your Goal Progression. Remember those goals you set for your business at the start of the year? It’s time to see where you’re at in meeting them. Whether you set concrete financial milestones or identified systems and processes you wanted to employ, take some time to see if you’ve made meaningful strides toward getting there.
  5. Check-in On Your Taxes. This is a good time to make adjustments to your 3rd and 4th quarter estimated payments if you’re forecasting an increase in revenue for the second half of the year. If you haven’t made your estimated tax payments, then it might be worth scheduling an appointment with your tax professional. Putting off making tax payments causes unnecessary stress. Attending to taxes all year can make for an easier, less stressful spring.

Building good habits as an entrepreneur, like running a mid-year financial checkup, is critical to the success of your business. But habits aren’t always easy to establish or maintain. Maybe you don’t even know where to start. If your business needs support, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Is Outsourcing the Right Option to Grow Your Business?

Outsourcing helps you abandon the mindset of “I can do it all myself” and offload boring back-office tasks and hand them over to professionals with better expertise and reasonable costs.

Before outsourcing, consider:

  • If you can afford and have the monthly budget of the services
  • If the costs incurred by outsourcing benefit the business in any way
  • If you are equipped to handle the task on your own
  • If outsourcing helps you focus on the strengths of the business

Here are the advantages of outsourcing:

  1. Increased productivity. Many entrepreneurs think they can do everything, but by eliminating the most time-consuming tasks, you can focus on tasks that make a huge difference in meeting the goals of your business.
  2. More time. Time is a limiting factor, you can spend your valuable time dealing with more important tasks like providing the best customer service and improving your ROI rather than wasting your time managing your bookkeeping.
  3. Expert services. Outsourcing allows you to hire an expert for a specific task without dealing with the risk of degraded quality. By outsourcing the right work to more qualified professionals, the books are handled timely and accurately than if business owners handled the same thing themselves.
  4. Cost-effective. Recruiting and training people is expensive and time-consuming; there are other hidden costs to consider as well. You will be able to harness the expertise of a professional without breaking the bank or incurring high overhead costs.
  5. Investing in other growth areas. Comparatively, it is much more affordable to get a task done by a professional externally rather than paying a monthly salary to a hired professional within the business. This increases your budget in other areas.

Outsourcing can bring significant benefits to the business. If you’d like to learn more on how we can help take managing your business finances off your plate and help you grow your business, schedule a call with us today!

5 Financial Reports You Should Track For Your Business

There are a number of financial reports that can give information on the business’s past, current, and future financial state. The top five financial reports that every business owner has to regularly and yearly review to better understand the business’s financial performance are listed below.

  • Balance Sheet. It provides a snapshot of a business’s financial position, including the economic resources the business owns or owes and the sources of financing for those resources.
  • Income Statement. It summarizes the total revenues and expenses incurred by the business, showing the profitability (net income or net loss) over a specified period of time, usually a month, quarter, or year.
  • Cash Flow Statement. It is presented in three sections: operating, financing, and investing activities, and it indicates which areas of the business are generating and using the most cash. One of the best uses for the Cash Flow Statement is to estimate future cash flow, which will assist with budgeting and decision-making.
  • Accounts Receivable Aging Report. It categorizes outstanding accounts receivable into groups based on the due date of the invoice, typically current, as well as 1-30, 31-60, 61-90, and >90 days overdue.
  • Budget vs. Actual. It can help identify areas that were over or under budget, indicating the ability to hire additional employees. The Budget vs. Actual Report should be prepared on a monthly basis and reviewed with the financial statements to determine if any areas of the business are not meeting expectations and should be investigated further.

We consistently provide timely and accurate financials and reports (like the ones mentioned above) on a monthly basis, as well as the actionable financial analysis you need to effectively run your business, analyze operations, and guide business decisions. If your business needs support, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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!