When to hire a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

Small business owners are experts at the products and services they sell. Many of them, however, are not so knowledgeable about — or interested in — the financial operations of the business. Recording sales transactions, paying supplier invoices, doing payroll. Boring!

But it has to be done. Otherwise, it just piles up and turns into an even bigger headache. Transactions get lost, mistakes are made, bills aren’t paid, filing taxes is a nightmare. If this is your situation, a professional bookkeeper can take the load off your shoulders and leave you free to do what you love in your business.

What a bookkeeper does

A bookkeeper is your day-to-day financial pro, maintaining complete and accurate records so that your small business can operate efficiently. A bookkeeper’s responsibilities include:

  • Implement standard accounting systems that your accountant can easily use
  • Record daily sales, purchases, payments and receipts in your ledgers
  • Go over your existing records and fix mistakes made by inexperienced staff
  • Enter tax-deductible expenses with the correct coding
  • Help you understand what the numbers mean
  • Notify you of potential issues such as cash flow problems or delinquent invoices

What an accountant does

Your accountant is your high-level expert. An accountant’s responsibilities usually include:

  • Examine and adjust accounts
  • Provide long-term business planning and tax-consulting advice
  • Use your bookkeeping data to file tax returns and other official reports
  • Review and handle IRS notices

How to find the right people

Whether you decide to bring a bookkeeper on board as a full-time employee or use a consulting service, be sure to investigate your candidates carefully. After all, they will have access to confidential data and could have a significant impact on the success or failure of your small business.

One great option is a company that offers both bookkeeping and accounting services. That way, they can easily coordinate their efforts to provide you with the best quality, probably at a better price than if you paid two separate entities.

A bookkeeping company that offers cloud-based accounting software can make your life even easier. Xendoo integrates with Xero accounting software to provide small businesses with real-time numbers. Accounting, on the cloud.

When you’re ready to put your books into the hands of professionals, Xendoo stands ready to help with accounting services designed especially for small businesses. From catch up bookkeeping to payroll to taxes, our experts crunch the numbers while you get back to the work you do best.

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

 

Be More Productive with Less Work: 5 Easy Tips

Business owners put a lot of thought into maximizing the productivity of their operations. But they don’t always do the same for their own work habits. Here are 5 things you can do to make the best use of your time and energy.

1. Get a second monitor.

Studies show that having a second monitor for your desktop computer increases productivity by 20 to 30 percent. By allowing you to see two screens at once, it saves time on a variety of tasks such as:

  • Data entry
  • Viewing a large spreadsheet in its entirety without scrolling
  • Side-by-side comparisons of products, artwork or spreadsheets
  • Pulling information from one place to use in another, or drag and dropping images
  • Having a chat window on one screen and your work on the other

Although the time difference may seem miniscule for each individual task, it can add up to 2.5 hours a day, according to a University of Utah study.

2. Use task management software.

How often do you lose track of your appointments, to-do lists and work schedules because they’re scattered through a variety of calendars and notebooks? The quick fix is to keep everything centrally located in one app. Many of them also let you share project information and discussions with your team. Some of the top rated apps right now are:

  • Wrike
  • Monday
  • Trello
  • Asana

3. Reduce meeting times.

Probably the biggest productivity killer in the workplace today is the meeting.  You know, the one that was supposed to take an hour and instead consumed the entire morning.  Or the one where everyone talked in circles but decided nothing. Cut the time suck by:

  • Eliminating non-essential meetings. Do you really need status updates more than once a week, or is the same information being repeated from one meeting to the next?
  • Sending the team a pre-meeting brief and agenda. This eliminates time needed during the meeting itself to bring everyone up to speed.
  • Setting a concrete goal. Vague statements like “We need to update our marketing plan” will lead to long, inconclusive discussions. For better results, be specific: “How to allocate our marketing budget for the next quarter.”

4. Stay on task.

It’s not true that multi-tasking is more efficient. It’s actually the opposite: nothing ever gets finished. Even worse, every time you’re distracted from your train of thought, you have to spend more time getting back into it — basically, doing the same work over and over without making progress.

Minimize distractions. Instead of answering phone calls and emails as they come in, set aside  specific times of day when you’ll knock them out all at once.

5. Break down big projects into small ones.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed when faced with a massive task. However, if you divide it up into smaller sub-projects, it will seem more doable. Some ways to do this include:

  • Plan steps in a time sequence. For example, if you’re building a house, you must first lay the foundation, then put up the framework, and so on.
  • Put tasks in order of importance. When you’re building that house and you see rain coming, your top priority might be to get the roof on.
  • Delegate sub-projects to team members. For the house you’re building, you might use carpenters, electricians, plumbers, interior decorators and so on.

These 5 habits of highly productive small business owners will not only make your own workday both easier and more effective, they will also improve the productivity of your entire team. That’s what we call a win-win!

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

3 Areas of Your Business that Need a Spring Clean

It’s not just your home that benefits from a regular tidying up and weeding out. Your business will also be easier to manage once it’s reorganized and de-cluttered. Here are some great tips that can save you time and money all year long.

1. Records

  • Move all paperwork related to completed jobs and 2017 activity into storage.
  • Use that newly freed-up space in the filing cabinet to clear your desk of everything not immediately necessary.
  • Do the same for digital files on your computer, server, or the cloud. Delete, compress or archive them externally.
  • And how about your computer’s desktop — are all those icons helping or hindering your ability to find something quickly?
  • Scan hand-written notes and file them digitally so you can throw out the paper.

2. Communications

  • Email detox: Archive all emails not related to current activity.
  • Organize the emails you’re keeping into folders so you can easily find them again.
  • Create rules or filters for certain email subject lines.
  • Unsubscribe from sales emails that take up too much of your inbox real estate.
  • What frequent emails can you automate using technology?

3. Financials

  • Revisit your small business loans. Are better rates available?
  • Ditto for utilities, shipping, and any other services your small business uses. There may be more and better options since the last time you did your research.
  • Get caught up on your accounting and bookkeeping. Delegate this task to an expert CPA team.
  • Consolidate inventory and re-evaluate products that are not selling.
  • Do a competitive comparison. Have competitors’ products, services, and prices changed in relation to yours? This could be a signal that the market is changing.

If this seems like a daunting list, just pick the ones that are most important to your small business, or that you feel need the most improvement. And remember, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.   Some tasks may call for professional assistance. Xendoo offers bookkeeping catch-up services that can wipe out nearly any backlog in less than two weeks — even if you’re years behind. Let’s clear the decks so that your business can move forward in 2018!

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.