Starting Off on the Right Foot: Accounting for Start-Ups

When you’re first launching your business and on a tight budget, it’s tempting to choose a cheaper accounting solution such as Excel spreadsheets. However, when you try to work with something that doesn’t meet your needs, can’t prevent human error, and costs many unnecessary man-hours, that “cheap” solution often turns out to be more expensive.

At Xendoo, we use a cloud-based accounting system for the many ways it saves start-ups time and money. Here are some of its biggest advantages.

Delivers info anytime, anywhere

You don’t have to read paper receipts or sit at your office computer to see your financial reports or bank transactions. This enables you to respond to changing conditions as they happen, minimizing the risk of losses or missed opportunities. Plus, you can message your Xendoo CPA team anytime for a fast response.

Eliminates manual data entry

Through syncing with your bank, every transaction is automatically entered into the bookkeeping system. It saves many hours of work and avoids the risk of error when a human operator transcribes the numbers.

Saves money

Offering more remote and part-time work options, it enables you to reduce your full-time office staff, as well as the overhead costs of accommodating them. Because data is stored in the cloud, not your own servers, IT expenses can also be trimmed.

Analyzes financial status

A basic spreadsheet can’t tell you much about your financial big picture or warn you when things aren’t going according to plan. Xendoo’s monthly P&L statements show you at a glance where you stand and what needs adjusting. And the CPA team can offer expert advice on planning for the future.

Keeps you ready to show and tell

Complete, accurate, and up-to-date financial reports are available at any time, simplifying your task of making a presentation to potential investors. What’s more, every entry is tax coded as it happens, so no extra work is needed to prepare for filing taxes or being audited.

Grows with you

As your business grows, it will inevitably get more complicated. Choosing a robust, scalable accounting system from day one is a competitive advantage that will smooth your path to greatness every step of the way.

Xendoo’s cloud-based accounting solutions are designed to take a business from start-up to enterprise level. While we handle the bookkeeping, you can focus on making your new business the best it can be.

 

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.

 

Worth a Thousand Words: 6 Tips for Success on Instagram

With millions of people checking out Instagram every day, this image-dedicated social media site is an ideal platform for businesses who want to get noticed, attract new customers, and do it without spending a lot of time or money.

Done right, an Instagram campaign can deliver a higher ROI than just about any other marketing channel. Here are our guidelines for standing out in the crowd and getting the results you want.

1. Define what you want to accomplish.

You may want to attract as many followers as possible, or perhaps your business would benefit more from building deeper relationships with a smaller community. You may want to showcase your products or services or share the human side of your business with stories about staff or company events.

2. Apply your branding style.

Your basic marketing elements, such as logo, tagline, and website address, should be the same across all media, and Instagram is no exception. Likewise, the text and photography styles should be consistent with what’s used in your other advertising.

3. Only share high-quality images.

Your business page is not the place for badly lit selfies or confusing crowd scenes. Viewers will judge the quality of your business by what they see. Not that you have to be or hire a professional photographer; just keep focused on the purpose of the photo. You can also improve quality by taking your photos with a DSLR camera and using an image editing app to make the photo clearer, more colorful, or more interesting.

4. Post consistently.

The more frequently you post, the more successful your campaign will be: at least once a week, preferably more. Post at the time(s) of day when your followers usually look at your page. Analytics software such as Iconosquare will tell you when that is.  And stick to the schedule; the worst thing you can do is to disappoint people by not posting when they expect it. If that’s not feasible, schedule a bunch of posts in advance to publish at the times you choose. Free apps such as Crowdfire will do this for you.

5. Make your posts searchable and shareable.

Include hashtags in your post. Find ones that are popular with your audience on hashtagify.me, or use trending ones such as #photooftheday or #widn (What I’m Doing Now) to share current happenings at your business. Also, tag the locations and people in your images.

6. Monitor your results.

Is your Instagram marketing strategy a success? The only way to know is to look at the numbers. Tracking software will reveal which posts are most popular, so you can do more like that in the future.

Great online content is the most effective tool in 21st-century marketer’s arsenal. And the best part about it is that any business can compete, no matter how big or small their marketing budget. Keep it unique, keep it appealing, and you’ll keep your customers coming back for more.

 

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.

 

How to Choose the Right Software to Simplify Your Real Estate Accounting

Let’s face it, bookkeeping for a business in the real estate industry, whether your niche is sales, management, construction, or tax and legal services, is complicated. Unlike some other types of business, you must deal with fluctuating income, expenses, payroll, and property values, not to mention a heavy load of government regulations.

All these factors must be accounted for, completely and accurately, to control profit margins, satisfy clients, and be prepared for tax filing. It’s a big hassle if you’re doing it the old-fashioned way. However, the right software will do many accounting tasks for you automatically, leaving you free to focus on your core business.

Payroll

Your business may have one or more of these types of workers:
• Commission
• Salary plus commission
• Salary
• Independent sub-contractors

Choose accounting software with a payroll feature capable of calculating commission and tracking those amounts for income tax withholding. Similarly, you should be able to identify payments made to independent contractors.

Remote Work

Whether your people are out on a building site or showing homes to prospective buyers, a cloud-based management app will give them access to the office. At the same time, the office is tracking their activities. Info on everything from materials used to schedule changes can be updated and shared with everyone in real-time.

A system that integrates all departments not only saves time and money for workers and managers, it also means that data from the field is incorporated into the books automatically, eliminating duplicated effort and potential errors for the accountant.

Operational expenses

It only makes sense to enter transactions on a daily bases, rather than wait until a week before your tax return is due. Keeping figures up to date will also reveal when and where you’re losing money, in good time to nip the problem in the bud.

Consider accounting software that integrates with your bank, recording every transaction automatically, and saving you a great deal of time and paperwork. Plus, you’ll be ready for an audit any day of the year.

Data access

Cloud-based software offers another advantage: the ability to see your financial reports or share data with your accountant anytime, anywhere. And with no need for in-house servers to store your data, you’ll reduce IT expenses as well.

Xendoo believes that cloud-based accounting is the right choice for any real estate business looking to increase growth while reducing inefficiencies. By automating bookkeeping chores, we eliminate the hassles, the mistakes, and more than half the costs of traditional accounting. Result: your business stands ready at every moment to meet challenges and seize opportunities for success.

 

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.

 

Burning It Out: 5 Ways for Food Trucks to Improve Productivity

Operating a food truck, you’re crazy busy. You’re probably thinking it’s impossible to do more than you already are, yet you know that if you don’t do more, you won’t make more.

The secret is to put your time and energy where it will bring the greatest rewards, and reduce or eliminate the activities that don’t pay off. In these tips, we’ll share some ideas for increasing productivity without increasing effort.

Cut down on distractions.

Do you feel as if you’re constantly being pulled two or three different ways? This is one of the biggest time-wasters in any type of business since the human brain works fastest when it can focus on one task at a time.
• Stay off your phone, email, and social media except for set times of the day.
• Tell friends and family to only contact you at work if it’s a real emergency.
• Do your business planning and analysis alone or with one expert adviser.
• Don’t let staff disagreements drag on, hold a meeting to resolve them.

Work on a schedule.

As long as you’re always reacting to the moment, you’ll never have time to act for the future. Even though running a food truck isn’t as predictably routine as some other types of business, some tasks have to be done every day, week, or month. Write the deadline down on a calendar and it becomes manageable, rather than a last-minute crisis.

The schedule doesn’t have to be super-tight or exact. Allowing time for breaks and unexpected developments makes it more likely that you’ll be able to stick to it.

Figure out which activities have a low rate of return.

This may actually take more time upfront as you test various alternatives. But it will save you much more time down the road when you’re not wasting it on tasks that won’t benefit your business.

For example, when you put out the word about your truck on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media, which of them are actually bringing in customers? Get rid of the channels that aren’t paying their way.

Finesse your inventory.

Not having enough or having too much of the ingredients you cook with is a huge productivity issue in the foodservice industry. The right POS system can automatically track sales and supplies, warn you when you need to reorder, and best of all, save you and your staff hours of physically counting the stock.

Delegate.

To maximize your productivity, you should spend your time on what made your business a success in the first place, and let others do the routine chores or the things you’re not so good at.

If your competitive edge is recipe development, focus on that and let someone else chop the onions. If you’re not good at business management and accounting, let an expert handle those areas. You may choose to hire a full-time accountant, or for a low monthly fee work with an accounting firm such as Xendoo.

As small business experts, we can relieve you of routine bookkeeping chores, provide you with information and advice on your financials, file your taxes, and more. Meanwhile, you have the time to make your food truck more productive and successful than ever.

 

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.

 

What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Work-Life Balance

As a business owner, you work long and hard to make it a success. But, like anything else, too much is not a good thing. Numerous studies have shown that overwork causes physical and mental health problems, decreases productivity, increases the likelihood of mistakes and accidents, lowers team morale and motivation, and damages personal relationships.

For employees, work-life balance is one of the top considerations when deciding whether to stay in a job or accept a job offer. You may be surprised to know that in employee surveys, it ranks even higher than the salary. (This is especially true for the millennial generation of workers.)

Following are our tried-and-true tips for rediscovering the smell of roses.

Schedule in downtime

Make sure that you and your staff are taking full lunch breaks, weekends, and vacations. Don’t expect yourself or anyone else to be constantly checking in at the office during these times. Time off should be just that: completely switching off from work. Only then will you be able to come back with renewed energy, clarity, and purpose.

Many top executives swear by power napping. A mere 10 or 15 minutes is enough to get them powered up for another tough work session. If napping isn’t your thing, close the door, put on some headphones and listen to music or dance. Or leave the building for a 10-minute walk in the fresh air.

Encourage team building activities

There’s no reason you can’t have a little fun with your colleagues, and ease the stresses of a busy day. Start a weekly happy hour group or a bowling league. Set up a conversation or games area in the office. Have a company 4th of July picnic. There are many ways to promote sociability, and what they cost in time or money will be more than rewarded in higher productivity, employee retention, and happiness.

Offer flexible schedules and telecommuting options

This is the era of cloud computing, and for many workers — maybe including you — being in the office full time is not really necessary. Routine tasks such as sending invoices, paying suppliers, and answering emails can be done from any device with an internet connection. This gives you more time to be with family and take care of personal errands, without letting the work suffer.

Don’t do it all yourself

There are numerous apps to save you time and effort in your daily work and home life, from automating workflows to batching emails to scheduling pick-ups and deliveries. Let them do the grunt work, while you focus on the important stuff.

We have heard countless business owners say, “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” But unless you’re a second Leonardo da Vinci, that’s probably not true. You are not an expert at everything. It will be better for both your health and that of your business if you delegate the activities that are not your area of expertise.

For example, you may have started a catering business because you know and love cooking. You probably don’t know and love numbers-crunching: bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, taxes, etc. If you try to do it yourself, your potential mistakes and missed opportunities to increase profits could well cost you more than hiring an accountant.

Xendoo uses cloud-based accounting software that relieves businesses of routine data entry, gives them 24/7 access to their financial reports, and keeps them tax-ready all year round. We leave you free to recover the balance between your work and your life.

 

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.