Virtual Accounting Blog

Going into Business with Your Spouse

Starting a new business can be a stressful and complicated process. Starting a new business with your spouse may add a new layer to an already stressful situation. That new layer may be good or bad, depending on a number of factors. That is why it’s important to discuss the pros and cons with your spouse before going into business together. Nothing is foolproof but here are some questions to ask yourselves before you start your business.

* How well do you work together on home projects? If you work well together household chores and yard work,  etc., you may work well in a business together. However, if you constantly bicker about how things are done, working together in a business could prove to be a risky option.

* How do you handle disagreements at home? Disagreements are a fact of life in a marriage. Are you able to work through your disagreements and compromise?

* How are each of you at taking constructive criticism? This is an important question when you work together. No one likes to be criticized and so treating each other with mutual respect can be especially important when you have employees. Constantly berating or overlooking your spouse’s mistakes may affect employee morale and even harm your business.

* Have you defined each spouses roll and responsibilities in the business? When spouses have a different

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The Burden of Student Loan Debt

The average student loan debt is $30,000. Student loan debt not only takes a toll on the student but the parents as well. In a survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs (AIC), 75% of parents or students made financial or personal sacrifices due to student loan payments. The survey found that the sacrifices revealed that of those surveyed;

* 41% put off saving for retirement.

* 40% delayed purchasing a new vehicle.

* 28% postponed weddings.

* 30% delayed the purchase of a home.

In some of the most troubling survey findings, only 39% fully understood how

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Keep the Cash Flowing

An important part of running a successful small business is maintaining sufficient cash flow. When there is good cash flow everything runs more efficiently allowing you to meet your financial goals and obligations. Here are a few ideas to help your cash flow issues.

* Budget. Create a budget and stick to it. Having a good and reasonable budget is very effective to track of your  costs/expenses, and revenue goals. A budget doesn’t have to be long and complicated. Depending on the size of your company a simple realistic budget may work out best. The important thing is to “stick to your budget. Break down your revenues and expenses on a monthly basis” and make adjustments where necessary.

* Credit policies. To meet you budget goals you may need to tighten up your credit policies especially if some customers are slow to pay. For example; how long do you give your customers to pay the bill? What happens if a customer misses a payment? Before your customers enter into a transaction, be sure that the credit terms are understood.

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New Business Tips

Have you been dreaming of owing your own business? It may not be as easy as you think. Going from employee to employer is a big step. Your new job title will require a lot of hard work on your part and it would be wise to get the advice of several experts before you just jump in and get in over your head.

There are many things you will need to have in place before you can get your business off the ground. Things like a good business plan, financial backing, office space, and a good product/service, just for starters. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider.

* Business plan. Visit other businesses that are similar to yours for guidance. Ask for tips on financing, sales, profits, expenses, and inventory. What are they doing to retain customers?

* Product/service. What is your product/service? Who is your target group? Do research in the area to make sure your business is in a good location for your target group.

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Are You Making the Right Pricing Decisions?

As a business owner you are in it to make a profit. That’s why making the right pricing decisions may be tough at times. Charging the right price is even more important when the economy is slow and your sales are slipping. During a slow economy it may be tempting to cut prices to generate higher sales volume. Though sometimes cutting prices only produces lower profit margins.

So, what can you do if you’re budget is squeezed by your vendors when they increase prices? If you increase your own prices, especially in a slow economy, your customers will complain and you could even lose some customers. On the other hand, can you justify holding your prices steady as your competitors reduce their prices? There are no easy answers. Here are a few steps that may help you when making your pricing decisions.

* What are your strengths. How does your product compare to your competitions products? Are your products higher quality, lower quality, or the same as your competitors’ products? How can justify charging higher prices?

* How is your business different? Do you maintain a larger inventory, faster delivery, better payment terms, wider product line, and better service on returned items? If not, how can you change your strategies to gain an edge in any of these areas? Your employees work closely with your customers and may be able to point you in the right direction for your pricing decisions.

* Empathize with your customers. Try to understand your customers’ needs. How can you adjust your

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How to Record a Vendor Credit in QuickBooks

Do you know how to record your vendor refund/ credit in your QuickBooks online?

As a business that works with multiple vendors you’re likely used to paying your vendors after you receive a bill or an invoice for a purchase. However, there may be times that your vendor owes your business money. Perhaps you returned a product due to damage or your received the wrong produce and you are due a refund. Or maybe the vendor offers a rebate on an item that you purchased.

If you receive a rebate or refund you will need to enter a “Vendor Credit” in the QuickBooks Online. The credit will then be applied the next time you make a purchase from this vendor. Generally, entering a vendor credit simple but once in a while a situation may arise and you are not sure how to accurately record a vendor’s credit. When this happens here are some simple steps to follow.

For example; you ordered a shipment of pens for your sales people to use as promotional items. Some of the pens are defective or have the wrong information on them. Your supplier gave you a $50.00 credit on a future purchase and a reference number to use. 

                                          

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September 2017 Tax Reminders

Be sure to mark your calendar for these important September tax filing reminders. Due on September 15th are these four tax filing deadlines:

* Third quarter installment of 2017 individual and corporation estimated income tax is due.

* S corporations: Filing deadline for 2016 tax returns for S corporations that requested/received a six-month extension.

* Partnerships: Filing deadline for 2016 tax returns for partnerships that requested/received an automatic six-month extension.

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How’s Your Financial Portfolio?

When is the last time you reviewed you finances? This is a good time to review your finances to ensure you are on the right track. Here are some tips to get you started.

* Review your retirement plans. How much have you accumulated so far? How much do you need to retire comfortably at your desired retirement date? If you aren’t sure how to calculate your retirement needs you should get professional advice to help you determine how much you should be saving and what the best investment vehicles are.

* Inventory your non-financial assets. Perform an inventory of all your non-financial assets (e.g., home, furniture, cars, and personal belongings). Compare this inventory to your property insurance coverage. Is your insurance adequate for your assets? You may need a rider to your policy for certain items such as jewelry or flood insurance. If some assets are no longer in use, consider selling them or donating them to charity. You may be entitled to a deduction based upon the fair market value of the assets.

* Review budget vs. actuals. Compare income and expenditures with your

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Time to Review Your Beneficiaries

When was the last time you reviewed you designated beneficiaries? If you haven’t done this lately it’s a good time for a review and to make adjustments where or if they are needed. It’s easy to get busy and forget to update beneficiaries, especially right after a life changing event. However, for the sake of your loved ones it’s important that you keep your beneficiaries current. Why?

The person you have designated as beneficiary for an account is the person that inherits the assets in the account, no matter what your will says. Normally, you will have beneficiaries for you IRAs, 401ks, pensions, annuities, as well as any insurance policies.

Since you made your initial designation choices there may have been some life

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Common Homeowner Insurance Mistakes

Unfortunately, catastrophes happen all too frequently. It may be in the form of natural disasters, fires, accidents, or thefts. If or when misfortune strikes will you be ready? An up-to-date and well-researched can keep your family finances afloat during when these trying times occur. The payments from your homeowner’s policy can provide the necessary funds to replace your house and belongings. A good policy can also protect against unexpected liabilities. If you're considering a new homeowner's policy or it’s time to up-date your policy, you should watch out for some common pitfalls, such as;

* Inadequate policy limits. Sometimes a homeowner will try to lower their premiums by purchasing a policy that doesn't fund their home's replacement value. That's often a big mistake. If the cost to replace your home has risen over the years and policy limits haven't kept pace, you could end up footing the bill for much of the replacement cost or selling your property at fire sale prices.

* Personal property not documented. If you need to file a claim, an insurance carrier will want solid evidence that you owned the items being claimed. It's a good idea to take pictures or videos of all your household goods, and keep receipts of all expensive purchases. Place copies of the pictures and receipts in a safe deposit

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