Best Counties in Florida for Small Businesses

At Xendoo, we love small businesses. We believe in the power of small businesses to not only create a living for their owners and employees but also to make communities better. 

Unfortunately, not all cities and counties are equally hospitable to small businesses. In Florida, there are some counties that offer more opportunities than others, and we’d like to highlight some of those locations in this post. This information can be helpful if you are planning to start a new business in Miami or Orlando, or if you are hoping to expand your current business into new locations. Let’s get started!

Plenty of Options

The good news here is this – as a prospective small business owner in Florida, you are going to have plenty of great choices available. Whether you want to set up shop in a small town or a metro area like Miami or Tampa Bay, you can take your time to select an ideal location for the products or services you plan to sell. 

To select some target counties for Florida small business opportunities, we turned to this informative piece of research. Based on their Small Business Index calculation, the top five counties in Florida are as follows –

  • Miami-Dade
  • Monroe
  • Walton
  • Franklin
  • Broward

Just from this list of five counties, we can quickly see an example of the diverse possibilities available in this state. Miami-Dade County, of course, is a huge population center home to more than 2.5 million people. On the other end of the spectrum, Monroe County covers the Florida Keys and has fewer than 75,000 residents. The third entry on the list, Walton County, is another relatively quiet location, located in the Northwest corner of Florida with a similar population to Monroe County. 

What Type of Business Do You Have in Mind?

The lesson so far is clear – both big cities and small towns can be friendly to small businesses in the right situation. But the right setting for your business may depend on what you will be selling and who you have in mind for your ideal customer. 

For example, a new restaurant may need the population base of a big county like Miami-Dade or Broward to find its footing and build a following. The same could be said for businesses in the health and fitness space, as well as retail outlets

Rather settle into a small town to run your new venture? Plenty of business types can find a home in such a setting, including eCommerce, healthcare, and other professional services. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules here, so it’s essential to create a detailed business plan and think about what location will give you the best chance to execute that plan. 

Getting the Right Help

Few businesses are truly a one-person operation. Regardless of the type of business you plan to open, it’s nearly certain that other people will be involved in making this venture a success. So, picking the right Florida county for your small business will also involve considering the available pool of employees. 

Of course, operating in a big county is going to give you more potential employees to pick from, but costs in these population centers are likely to be higher. Whether to keep costs down or to find help that can easily scale with you, consider outsourcing to off-site freelancers and other service providers for help with some tasks. 

Here at Xendoo, we help small business owners by handling their online bookkeeping, accounting, and tax filing work. This is a great way to minimize employee costs while simultaneously freeing up some of your own time. You can apply this same outsourcing concept to other parts of running your business, as well. 

Growing Throughout Florida

There is a lot to like about doing business in Florida, but perhaps nothing is as tantalizing as the tremendous opportunity to be found in The Sunshine State. Florida is small enough geographically for a small business to consider expansion throughout the state as a feasible and realistic goal. At the same time, the state is home to more than 20 million people, so the market is enormous. Starting with the counties that are welcoming to small business ventures may give you the footing necessary to one day find your business operating from Tallahassee to Miami and everywhere in between. 

Conclusion

No matter which Florida county you decide to call home for your business, Xendoo is here to help. From bookkeeping and accounting services to tax prep and more, our team is excited to serve you. By taking these core functions off your plate, you will be free to focus on what it is you do best – deliver value to your customers. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Debit vs. Credit in Accounting: What’s the Difference?

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There are a lot of things people don’t tell you about being a small business owner before you get started. Between serving customers, managing employees, keeping your books up to date, and struggling to build the reputation of your brand, it’s a constant process of learning on the job. 

Also, you probably didn’t realize that opening your own business would require you to become an accountant by default. Accounting is essential for every business, and you get thrown into the deep end when you start a new company. 

Without training in this field, accounting terms can feel like a foreign language. While we can’t provide an entire accounting education in this article, we can address one common issue – how to tell debit vs credit accounting transactions. If you have been struggling with how to understand credit vs debit in accounting, the content below should put you on the right track. 

What are debits vs. credits?

Let’s make this very clear – for the non-accountant, debits and credits can be confusing. If you can’t seem to get your mind around this topic, don’t worry – you are far from alone. We’ll try to break it down as simply as possible to give you a basic understanding of what’s going on here. 

Before we talk debits and credits, let’s quickly talk about the underlying accounting system in question – double-entry accounting. This method is used nearly universally, and it requires that each transaction will involve two accounts (thus the double-entry name). So, whether money is coming or going, each transaction is going to be marked by two entries in the ledger that balance each other out. We’ll offer an example later in this article to help clarify this concept. 

So, back to debits and credits. Your double-entry accounting system is organized into a variety of accounts. In your accounting system, you can see the accounts you have established in your “Chart of Accounts”. When money is going into one of those accounts, that’s known as a debit. If money is going out of an account, that’s a credit. On the most basic level, that’s what you need to remember – debits are adding to accounts and credits are taking away from those accounts. 

What is an example of debits vs credits?

Let’s walk through a quick example to help you fully understand how debits and credits work in practical application. For this example, we are going to assume that you have decided to purchase $2,000 worth of inventory for your business. This purchase is going to be made with cash out of the business account. 

When you make that purchase, two entries will be required – one debit and one credit. The debit is going to be placed in the inventory account because it is being increased (you have added to your inventory). So, a debit of $2,000 is applied to the inventory account. 

The complementary entry is a credit of $2,000 to the cash account. This subtracts from your cash account the amount of money that has been spent. So, after both entries have been made, you are left with an accurate picture of what this transaction meant for your business – you own $2,000 more inventory, and you have $2,000 less cash in your account.  

How do debits and credits affect my liability accounts?

You’ll need to reverse your thinking when it comes to liability accounts. The liability accounts your business uses will depend on how you operate, but one common example for small businesses is accounts payable. This is a liability because balances in this account represent money that you owe to your suppliers and other vendors. 

A debit applied to a liability account is going to have the opposite effect as a debit applied to an asset account. So, the $2,000 debit we applied to inventory in the example above increased the value of the inventory account, since that account is an asset. However, if a $2,000 debit were applied to accounts payable, the balance of that account would decrease, since it lives on the liability side of the ledger. 

Conclusion

It’s a good idea to add to your accounting knowledge as a business owner, so dealing with topics like what is debit vs credit in accounting is a worthwhile endeavor. With that said, you don’t want to be spending your time in the back office, buried in the books. Instead, you should be out front, helping your business grow by offering valuable products and services to your customers. 

How can you make that vision a reality? Turn to Xendoo. Our accounting and bookkeeping services will streamline your operations without breaking the bank. With Xendoo on your side, you won’t need to turn yourself into an accounting wizard – just hand the books over to us and rest assured that they will be done correctly month after month. Let’s get started!

A restaurateur looks over his bookkeeping statements

Top 5 Tasks Your Small Business Should Outsource

A restaurateur looks over his bookkeeping statements

As your business grows, however, things start to change. It becomes harder and harder to keep up with everything that needs to be done, and something has to give. By outsourcing strategic tasks, like finding an online bookkeeping and accounting team you can trust, you can open up time in your daily schedule without spending a fortune on full-time employees. 

Small business outsourcing is a great strategy, but there are some parts of the business that are a better candidate for outside help than others. Let’s take a closer look. 

Top Five Tasks Small Business Should Outsource

#1 – Accounting and Bookkeeping

This is the obvious place to start our list. There are two reasons accounting and bookkeeping are prime targets for outsourcing. First, they are time-consuming. It will take time for a new business owner to learn how to handle the books for the company, and it will take even more time to keep up with those books month after month. Turning this task over to a third party is a huge time saver. 

In addition to time savings, the importance of maintaining accurate books is another compelling reason to outsource this task to a pro. Having accurate accounting records is essential for filing taxes, making business decisions, and much more. Rather than tossing and turning at night wondering if the books are right, outsource bookkeeping and rest easy. 

#2 – Web Design

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to design your own website. After all, there are plenty of affordable DIY tools available today that promise to make the job of website design an easy one. To be sure, anyone with basic computer skills could have a site up live on the web in just a matter of hours. Whether or not that site would be worthy of representing a business is another matter entirely, however. 

For the average small business, outsourcing web design work is well worth the investment. Asking a freelance designer to create a clean, functional WordPress site is not particularly expensive and will lead to an improved finished product. Also, if the site is built on WordPress or another user-friendly platform, you may be able to do basic maintenance on the site yourself, after the initial design phase is completed. 

#3 – Tax Preparation

Getting back to the financial side of things, tax preparation is another perfect task to outsource. Depending on how your business is taxed, you may need to do this just once per year – meaning you won’t have to spend much money on tax prep annually. And, as was the case with accounting and bookkeeping, the peace of mind alone that comes with using a professional to file taxes is easily worth the investment. 

#4 – Marketing

This might be a surprising entry on our list, but outsourcing marketing is a powerful way to supercharge the growth of your small business. As a small business owner, you likely have expertise related to the company you have created. For instance, if you are a service provider, it is the act of performing that service that actually delivers value to your customers. 

Marketing is a skill all to itself, and it probably doesn’t have anything to do with your core competency. Instead of learning on the go and trying to put together your own marketing campaign, find a 3rd party to do the work for you. Working with a marketing agency can be surprisingly affordable and may allow you to reach heights that simply wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. 

#5 – Sales

The last stop on our list is related to the idea of outsourcing your marketing. Just as marketing is an advanced skill that takes years to learn properly, so too is sales. Without plenty of sales experience, you may struggle to sell potential customers on your products or services – even if you are a recognized expert in your industry. 

When outsourcing sales, you will likely be able to work out a deal that is based largely on commissions. This structure puts you in a can’t-lose situation – you’ll be paying for sales that are made, meaning your revenue will be growing and you will be happy to spend the money. 

Conclusion

Two of the five points on our list can be resolved with a single step – contacting Xendoo to set up outsourcing for your bookkeeping and tax filing needs. Xendoo brings clarity to the financial side of your business so you can focus on delivering memorable products and services to your customers. Contact us today to learn more!

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Bank Reconciliation: What It Is and Why It’s Important For Your Small Business

A person works on their laptop.

Bank reconciliation is a task that sounds boring even before you know exactly what it is. As a business owner who already has too many tasks and not enough time, it’s easy enough to just take a pass on something that sounds so dull. 

Unfortunately, skipping out on bank reconciliation is not something you can afford to do. With this post, we’d like to give you a quick introduction to the concept of bank reconciliation and why it’s an essential part of your ongoing accounting and bookkeeping activities. Let’s get started!

What is small business bank reconciliation?

Completing a bank reconciliation is pretty simple. Each month, your business will be involved in a number of transactions that see money both coming in and going out. Those transactions should all be logged in an accounting system such as QuickBooks or Xero. Also, those transactions are going to make their way through your bank account (or accounts), usually a day or two after they occur. The process of bank reconciliation is nothing more than confirming that what appears on your bank statements matches what you see in your accounting software

How does bank reconciliation work? 

While bank reconciliation can be performed at any chosen periodic interval, it is most commonly handled as a monthly task. Your bank generates a monthly statement anyway, so that is the perfect opportunity to compare that statement to your internal accounting records. 

The details of doing a bank reconciliation will vary from software to software, but the basic process is the same across the board –

  • There will be a bank reconciliation section within your chosen accounting software interface. 
  • Checks and deposits from the previous months will appear in this area, and those that are found on the bank statement can be checked off. 
  • Bank service fees may not yet be in the accounting system, so those can be pulled from the bank statement and added at this time. 
  • Any discrepancies between the bank statement and the accounting software will need to be resolved. Often, discrepancies are the result of checks that have recently been sent or deposited and have not yet cleared the bank. 

Why is bank reconciliation important?

It’s easy to take bank reconciliation for granted, thinking that your accounts are going to match up properly each time. And hopefully, most of the time, that will be the case. But bank reconciliation remains vital because of some of the issues that can be spotted when going through this process. Some potential discoveries that can be made through periodic bank reconciliation include –

  • Fraud. This is perhaps the most important reason of all to reconcile bank statements regularly. If a deposit is registered in your accounting software, but it never lands in the bank, where did it go? You want to spot this kind of issue right away so you can look into it further. There may be a legitimate, honest mistake that led to the missing deposit – or the money could have been stolen. 
  • Missing check. If you send a check to a vendor, for example, you want to be sure that they received that check in an appropriate amount of time. If it still hasn’t cleared your bank a couple of weeks after it was sent, you may want to follow up to confirm that they received it. Without bank reconciliation, you would miss this point and may receive a past due notice from that vendor in the near future. 
  • Check doesn’t clear the bank. When the account that a check is drawn on doesn’t have the necessary funds to cover that check, it will “bounce”. Therefore, the entry in your accounting system will need to be reversed, because the deposit didn’t actually go through. Also, there may be a fee charged by the bank that needs to be recorded as part of this problem. 

There are many reasons why an accountant is important, and performing regular bank reconciliations is high on that list. This is one of the best tools you have available to stay on top of the financial activities that take place in your business. 

What is included in a bank reconciliation statement?

When the bank reconciliation process is completed, a bank reconciliation statement can be produced. That statement is basically a summary of the reconciliation, and it will highlight the reasons for any discrepancies between the bank balance and the cash balance in the accounting system. Elements that can typically be found on a bank reconciliation statement include –

  • Bank balance. The balance provided on the bank statement will be noted, along with the date of that balance.
  • Additions and deductions. Any deposits in transit or checks going out that have not yet reached the bank will be noted on the statement and adjusted from the bank statement balance. 
  • Bank activities. Events that occurred on the bank side and that have not yet been accounted for in the company’s books will also be shown on the reconciliation statement. Examples can be money collected by the bank on behalf of the company, or fees and charges that are owed to the bank and come out of the account. 
  • Adjusted cash balance. This is where the bank reconciliation statement shows that the books are in order – the adjusted cash balances should match when all outstanding transactions have been included. 

Top tips for bank reconciliation

Before we wrap up this discussion, we’d like to pass on three quick tips to help make bank reconciliation a useful part of your accounting process. 

  • Make it regular. It’s essential that bank reconciliations are completed at regular intervals. For most small businesses, that is going to mean once per month – but you can adjust this schedule based on your needs. 
  • Keep your books up to date. Performing a bank reconciliation will take much longer if you need to update your internal books from the previous month before you can compare those records to the bank statement. 
  • Take your time. If performing the reconciliation on your own, set aside enough time so you don’t need to rush through the task. Doing it quickly is going to greatly increase the chances of a mistake. 

Conclusion

Understanding the importance of bank reconciliation and making time in your schedule to complete this task are two different things. All the motivation in the world can’t magically open up time for you to spend going over bank statements and clearing up any issues. 

This is where Xendoo comes into the picture. Bank reconciliation is just one of our many bookkeeping services, so we can take this and more off of your plate each month. Contact us today to learn more!

 

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Partnering With Gusto Today Means a Better Tomorrow for xendoo Customers

Partnering with Gusto today means a better tomorrow for xendoo customers. As a small business owner, you juggle multiple roles… bookkeeping, human resources, marketing, and all that goes into running your business every day. You love what you do and wish you could leave the complicated, boring stuff out of your day-to-day. xendoo feels your […]

Best Real Estate Accounting Tips for Agents and Brokers

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

As the owner of a new real estate business, you’re probably aware of the unique characteristics of your industry. You take a personal interest in the real estate market, and you are excited to do great work for your clients, whether buying or selling pieces of property. 

But here’s the thing—running a real estate business is about more than making great deals. Accounting plays a major role in staying organized, managing taxes, and making smart decisions in any business. 

Why accounting is important for real estate businesses

Setting up your real estate accounting system the right way will enable you to minimize the labor and stress involved in large-value transactions, extreme income fluctuations, employee pay formulas, and government regulations.

These tips are for you if your business is:

  • Real estate broker or agent
  • Property management
  • Building construction
  • Residential sales
  • Real estate investment management

Another reason to keep accurate financial records is that you will probably have to show them to interested parties at some point. These entities include:

  • Lenders
  • Shareholders
  • Creditors
  • Government bodies (e.g., the IRS)

There are many motivations to keep accurate books. And, contrary to popular belief, doing so does not have to be a major headache or hassle. With a service like Xendoo, you can outsource your bookkeeping and tax work to focus on what you do best. For more information, check out this post on how to choose the right software to simplify your real estate accounting. 

Two men go over real esate regulations at their desk.

Learn the Regulations

Did you know that it is not just real estate transactions that local and state commissions oversee? These bodies also oversee the financial management of a real estate business, so playing by the rules is essential. Therefore, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with their requirements before making any decisions about your bookkeeping system. If the language is unclear, consult a professional accountant who specializes in real estate. It’s far better to spend extra time setting up your accounting procedures properly at the start than trying to untangle a mess when you run into trouble later on.

Choose Who or What Will Do Your Real Estate Accounting

For real estate professionals, the most viable options are:

  • Hire an accountant as a full-time employee
  • Outsource accounting services
  • Accounting software used by management or other designated employees

Hiring an accountant to work in-house is undoubtedly a powerful approach, but it will be costly and likely beyond the scope of many real estate businesses. On the other end of the spectrum, acquiring accounting software to manage the books yourself or amongst your team might be difficult if no one has proper accounting training or the time to dedicate to ensure your books are up to date. Even minor accounting mistakes can add up to bigger ones down the road.

It’s the middle ground – outsourcing accounting tasks to a third party like Xendoo – that will make the most sense for many real estate agents and brokers. This option keeps the costs down while still freeing up your time and utilizing experts to make sure the work is done properly. 

Select Your Accounting Method

You have two choices: cash basis or accrual. Once you make a choice, you must stick with it, unless you submit a change request to the IRS. (Your first tax return shows the IRS which one you chose in the beginning — you don’t have to submit any forms for that.)

Cash basis accounting is often preferred by small businesses because it’s easier to maintain, and it tells you how much money you actually have in the bank on any given day. Accrual accounting is usually the choice of larger companies because it portrays a more accurate portrait of your real estate business’s financial performance. Accrual accounting also allows you to better your long-term plan, which is helpful if you are thinking about expanding your business.

A real estate agent looks over his accounting charts on a tablet.

Create a Chart of Accounts

This complete index of your company’s transactions is essential for knowing how you stand. It will save you many hours of work when you need to measure performance, generate a report, locate past transactions, or prepare tax returns.

The chart of accounts is organized into categories for easy sorting and retrieval. These categories can be anything you need. Under Assets, they might include Cash, Accounts Receivable, and Vehicles. Under Liabilities, you might have sub-accounts such as Accounts Payable, Loans, and Payroll.

Keep Business and Personal Transactions Separate

Don’t fall into the bad habit of pulling out your business credit card or checkbook to pay personal expenses — or vice versa. Without fail, it will cause more problems than it solves, including inaccurate books, tax mistakes, and cash flow issues. 

Real estate accounting shouldn’t be complicated, and this is one of the golden rules that can keep things simple—don’t make personal purchases with business accounts. Opening a separate bank account and a credit card strictly for your business will also make you look more professional to your customers, creditors, and investors.

Fool-Proof Accounts Receivable

Collecting payments that are owed is one of the biggest headaches for small businesses. Prevent delayed and missed payments with an automated invoicing system that:

  • Sends invoices promptly
  • Includes all the necessary information
  • Offers several convenient ways to pay
  • Tracks and contacts delinquent payers

With an automated system in place, you’ll save time and avoid missing out on revenue that slipped through the cracks when you were too busy to track it down. 

Reconcile Your Bank Account Every Month

Reconciling your bank account means checking that the transactions listed on the bank statement match what you have in your books. This process will identify any discrepancies so you can figure out why they happened and make a plan for avoiding those issues in the future.

Usually, it’s something simple like a financial transaction that’s recorded in your books, but the bank hasn’t processed it yet. However, it could be a more severe problem such as data entry error, misunderstandings of using the bookkeeping system, or even theft.

A broker goes over his taxes for his real estate business.

Figure Out Worker Pay and Taxes

Your business may pay one or more of these types of compensation:

  • Salary employee
  • Commission employee
  • Salary plus commission employee
  • Independent sub-contractor

Ideally, you’ll have payroll software that can calculate them all, as well as track them for income tax withholding. Fees to independent contractors may be handled separately by accounts payable since these workers are not, by definition, your employees.

It’s not only the fees that you have to be aware of but also the proper paperwork for each type of employee. You’ll need to learn which tax forms to collect from employees (W-2) and contractors (1099) and how to report their income to the IRS.

At Xendoo, we can also help with payroll processing as an add-on service to our real estate accounting. You won’t have to worry about issuing and filing your W-2s or1099s, which means one less thing keeping you from focusing on your business. 

Make Professional Life a Little Easier

If all this seems overwhelming, consider outsourcing to financial professionals. Xendoo specializes in small business accounting. We’ll relieve you of all that work and worry with services that range from real-time bookkeeping to timely financial reports to preparing your tax return. 

 

See for yourself with a one-month free trial.

 

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.

 

Recipe for Success: 5 Must-Have Ingredients of Restaurant Bookkeeping

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

As a busy restaurateur, it’s easy to push restaurant bookkeeping tasks to the bottom of your priority list. After all, you have better things to do – right?

Not so fast. Restaurant bookkeeping is an essential function for businesses large and small, as accurate, reliable numbers are essential for sound decision making. Also, there is the whole matter of taxes to consider. Safe to say, it’s better to get things right the first time with bookkeeping, instead of paying for your mistakes later on. 

To help get your restaurant accounting processes on the right track, we have assembled the following five tips.

1. Record Sales Daily

It’s dangerously easy to fall behind on recording your sales. In fact, one of the reasons that bookkeeping for restaurants is often a mess is simply because owners and managers fall behind on basic tasks. 

To stay up to date, make a habit of copying or importing the sales from your POS system into your accounting software each day. What you’re aiming for are books that correlate with your bank statements. If you save up all those credit card charges for a weekly or monthly deposit, you’ll have a hard time doing analysis later.

Ideally, your accounting software and POS system are integrated so that this is done automatically. At Xendoo, we integrate your bank transactions with your books, so data entry is always up to the minute. Automating this process not only saves you the time of doing the work manually but also greatly improves accuracy. 

Several people are gathered at a table enjoying a meal.

2. Reconcile Bank Statements Every Month

Yes, your bank statements should be reconciled every month. No, it’s not a good idea to let them sit around for 3, 4, 5, or more months. If you’ve forgotten to enter a payment or a sale in your books, but that payment or sale has been processed by your bank, it will be easier to correct the error if you catch it quickly. In an extreme case, not knowing how much you really have in the bank could lead to bounced checks.

For every account that you receive a monthly statement — bank, credit cards, lines of credit, and loans — compare what their statement says with what your books say. If there are discrepancies, track down what happened and fix it. Of course, if you outsource bookkeeping to a service like Xendoo, you can keep up with this task while keeping your personal schedule open for other responsibilities. 

3. Pay Your Bills Promptly

Vendors love customers who pay on time – or even early. Doing so will get you better deals and early payment discounts. On the flip side, being late will rack up interest charges. Staying on top of your bills, along with managing labor costs properly, are keys to keeping your financial house in order.

To make sure this happens, you should have a reliable Accounts Payable process in place. Your A/P system will record invoices, pay bills online with a credit card or digitally generated checks, and automatically enter the expenses in your books. Record new invoices once or twice a week and make payments once per week to stay current.

A restaurateur takes a close look at his financial statements.

4. Take a Close Look at Your Financial Reports

Anyone can quickly glance at the bottom line of a financial report—but those numbers only tell a portion of the story. It’s the details that you need to understand, and those can be gathered if you take the time to read through your restaurant bookkeeping reports carefully.

Your profit & loss statements and balance sheets can reveal crucial statistics for a restaurant business such as:

  • Profit margin: gross profit ÷ total revenue
  • Sales vs. cost of goods sold ratio
  • Prime cost: ideally food + beverage + labor = 60% – 65% of total sales
  • Compare current profit & loss to previous months and years

Profit margins are notoriously tight in the restaurant industry. Having current information about your financial health is just as important as creating tasty food or offering great service. That’s why Xendoo guarantees delivery of your P&L statement by the 5th business day of every month.

5. Nail Your Taxes.

It’s worthwhile to track down as many tax tips for restaurants as you can find since taxes make up such a notable expense every month. One of the best ways to stay on top of taxes and avoid paying more than is necessary is to keep detailed, accurate records of everything that takes place in your business. 

Extra Ingredient: Outsource Your Payroll

Payroll processing can be quite time-consuming, especially given the complex shift scheduling of most restaurants. It also comes with high penalties if you make mistakes in calculating payroll taxes, or don’t file the taxes on time.

Payroll services are generally affordable, and can often be bundled with other accounting services. Xendoo offers packages that include payroll processing for a budget-friendly flat monthly fee.

Documentation is the name of the game in accounting, yet many restaurants – and businesses in other industries – fall short when doing their own bookkeeping. Working with Xendoo is a big step in the right direction when it comes to documentation and record keeping. And, of course, Xendoo can manage your tax filing as well, so there is nothing lost in translation when going from one service to the next. As an all-in-one bookkeeping and tax filing solution for your restaurant, tax season will no longer feel like the nightmare it once was

 

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

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

Let’s face it, bookkeeping for a business in the real estate industry is complicated. That holds true whether your niche is sales, management, construction, or tax and legal services. Unlike some other types of business, you must deal with variables like 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, creating custom spreadsheets and writing down transactions in a ledger. However, the right real estate accounting software will do many accounting tasks for you automatically, leaving you free to focus on your core business.

Real estate business payroll

Processing payroll is a core function for any business. Using accounting software that takes some of the hassles out of completing payroll each period can save you time and keep your records accurate year after year. 

Your business may have one or more of these types of workers:

• Commission

• Salary plus commission

• Salary

• Independent subcontractors

As it relates to real estate accounting specifically, choose software with a payroll feature capable of calculating commissions and tracking those amounts for income tax withholding. Similarly, you should categorize payments made to independent contractors, as those are typically not subject to withholding.

A person works on their laptop.

Real-time remote work tracking

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 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. The inherent challenge with real estate accounting is the many moving parts involved—everything doesn’t happen in the same place. Leveraging technology to automatically collect all of this information and incorporate it into a bookkeeping system is sure to lead to better results. 

Breeze through tax time

The topic of taxes will come up again and again in the search for the right real estate accounting software—and for a good reason. Taxes aren’t only necessary because they are a legal requirement but also because they can represent such a significant expense. If your real estate business holds properties, for example, the property taxes alone can take a big chunk out of your bottom line. 

You can’t get away from paying taxes, of course, but you can use good accounting software and a tax filing service like Xendoo to make sure you don’t pay more than your share. 

A real estate records her numbers for the week on a laptop,

Streamline operational expense recording

One of the best real estate accounting tips you can receive is to enter all of your transactions each day. Suppose you wait until a week before your tax return is due to get your books updated. In that case, you’ll be facing a major headache and the likelihood that there will be errors beyond tax filing. Keeping your figures up to date will also reveal when and where you’re losing money. This makes it easier to make sound decisions and avoid spending too much time on a losing endeavor. 

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. Many real estate professionals – and professionals in other industries – feel like they are constantly behind on accounting. The key to getting ahead of the game is not to spend more of your precious time on the task but rather to streamline it using the right real estate accounting software. 

Financial reports data access

Using cloud-based software allows you 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 mitigate the risk of losing your data and bring down IT expenses as well. If you are currently storing all of the financial data for your business on a single computer in your office, you are playing with fire in terms of data loss risk. Turning to the cloud leaves you with off-site storage that is backed up and secure. 

Two noteworthy options

Most real estate businesses won’t need to take their accounting software search beyond two of the market leaders—Xero and QuickBooks Online. Each of these options includes all of the features you are likely to need to keep the financial side of your business in order. And, as an added bonus when working with Xendoo, we can provide you with a discount on either one of these two excellent accounting platforms. 

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. Our real estate accounting service will leave your business 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.

 

An eCommerce seller looks at her items for sale on a tablet

Selling on Amazon vs. eBay: What you need to know

Ready to start selling your products online? Or have you already built a web presence and you’re looking to expand? From marketplaces like Etsy to building and hosting your own website on Squarespace or Shopify, small businesses have plenty of platforms to sell their products online. But eventually, most professional sellers find themselves asking: What are the pros and cons of Amazon vs. eBay?

Amazon vs. eBay: Who has the biggest market for selling potential?

By the sheer number of visitors, selling on Amazon is the winner here: 214.8 million people visit Amazon each month, compared to 106.9 million for eBay. However, both of these numbers represent huge potential audiences, so to really make the right choice about selling on Amazon vs. eBay, you’ll want to break it down. 

eBay’s audience is more international than Amazon: 57% of its revenue comes from international operations. Amazon doesn’t release these figures, but analysts estimate about 33% of its sales are international. eBay is also known for having “niche” customers searching for specialized products and second-hand goods. The real winner here depends on what you sell and who you sell it to.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which channel is more competitive? 

Amazon is much more competitive than eBay. Amazon rewards sellers with the highest-quality items at the lowest price. There are far more sellers on Amazon, and you may be competing with factory-direct prices from China or even with Amazon itself. 

On the other hand, eBay follows an auction format that will show shoppers many different options, conditions from new to used and shipping options, allowing sellers more opportunities to reach them. eBay advertising is also less competitive and therefore cheaper. 

Outside view of an Amazon pick up and return center.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which channel offers the best shipping and fulfillment?

Winner: Amazon.

When sellers opt for fulfillment by Amazon FBA, they’re able to use the retail giant’s warehouses, shipping, and customer service – for a fee, of course. They’re also eligible for Amazon Prime and the benefits that come along with it. Just remember that you may have to pay sales tax in those states if you use Amazon’s warehouses. Make sure you follow eCommerce bookkeeping tips to keep your records in order.

While domestic sellers are responsible for their own packing and shipping on eBay, the company does offer its Global Shipping Program. This allows sellers to use its “hubs” to ship internationally, with eBay taking care of the customs forms and import fees and providing tracking. This is another reason eBay is so popular with international sellers. 

Amazon vs. eBay: Whose fees reign supreme?

Overall, most sellers find that eBay’s fees are lower. But this doesn’t tell the whole story. Both platforms’ fees depend on what’s being sold, the type of account you have, and more. On Amazon, you’ll likely want a Professional Seller account, which will run you $39.99 per month. You’ll also pay a 15% commission on Amazon, plus a closing fee. If you go with Amazon FBA, you’ll pay those fees as well. 

On eBay, you’ll pay about $0.35 for each listing you create. With a $28-per-month Basic Store account, you’ll get 250 free listings. Once your item sells, eBay takes only a 10% commission. However, this doesn’t include payment processing, while Amazon does. You’ll also then need to figure out the shipping yourself. 

Once again, the answer to the age-old question of selling on Amazon vs. eBay depends on your sales volume and type of product. Here’s one point for eBay, however: One survey found that eBay was ranked number one by sellers in terms of ease of use, customer service, and profitability – while Amazon came in seventh. 

An eCommerce seller adds items to her online store.

The verdict: Amazon

Pros:

  • Reach a large audience
  • Amazon FBA is a convenient option for most sellers
  • Easy to use interface and tools

Cons:

  • Highly competitive
  •  Slightly higher fees
  • Less freedom over branding, product descriptions, and policies

Which eCommerce sellers are Amazon right for? 

  • Sellers with a high volume
  • Sellers with high-profit margins
  • Sellers of non-specialty items

The verdict: eBay

Pros:

  • Easier international sales and expansion
  • Control over branding, listings, and return policies
  • Lower fees 

Cons:

  • No domestic shipping program
  • Smaller audience
  • Less straightforward user interface

Which eCommerce sellers are eBay right for?

  • International sellers
  • Sellers of used and customized items, collectibles, and niche products
  • Sellers who desire more freedom over the selling process

You can even decide to settle the Amazon vs. eBay debate by selling on both platforms. No matter what you choose – and especially if you decide to sell on both – you’ll need expert eCommerce online bookkeeping to keep your books in order and ensure you keep up with sales tax laws. At Xendoo, we work with eCommerce sellers on both platforms to manage bookkeeping and accounting, so they can focus on what’s important: selling!

How Your Small Business Can Prepare for Florida’s Minimum Wage Increase

In recent years, we’ve seen a reopening of the debate over minimum wage. Advocates are currently pushing for an increase to $15.00 per hour by 2026, with the door open to possible increases in the years after that. If you’re a worker, this is good news. A slight bump in the Florida minimum wage can increase the pay you receive, compensating for rising costs of living and other expenses.  However, if you’re a small business owner, this wage increase can lead to tough decisions. Unless you’re a corporate giant, it can be tough to maintain your current roster of employees if you have to pay them more.

In this post, we’ll help you to prepare for the coming changes in the Florida minimum wage. We’ll also provide suggestions about the best ways to navigate the road ahead.

What is the Current Florida Minimum Wage?

As of January 1, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage has increased from $8.56 per hour to $8.65 per hour. Tipped employees have seen a recent increase in their wages, rising from $5.54 per hour to $5.63 per hour. 

According to federal law and in some states, like Florida, employers may pay tipped workers less than the mandated minimum wage. This is called a “tip credit” as employees earn enough in tips to make up the difference.  The “credit” is the amount the employer doesn’t have to pay.  So for employers, the applicable state or federal minimum wage minus the tip credit is the least amount the employer pays tipped employees per hour. If an employee doesn’t make enough tips during their shifts to earn the hourly minimum wage, the employer has to pay the difference.

Are There Plans to Change the Florida Minimum Wage After 2021?

These changes will not stop in 2021. In November of 2020, Florida residents voted to raise the Florida minimum wage to $15.00 by 2026. The minimum wage increases will take place in a phased approach, raising the minimum wage each year on September 30. The proposed schedule will run as follows:

  • $10.00/hour on September 30, 2021
  • $11.00/hour on September 30, 2022
  • $12.00/hour on September 30, 2023
  • $13.00/hour on September 30, 2024
  • $14.00/hour on September 30, 2025
  • $15.00/hour on September 30, 2026

 While there are no specific plans after 2026, the minimum wage increase may increase based on changes to the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region.

An employee hads a customer their food order.

How Should Small Business Owners Prepare for Florida Minimum Wage and Paid Leave Increases?

If you’re a business owner, don’t panic. At Xendoo, we understand the unique challenges facing today’s small business owners. 

Here are some suggestions on ways that your business can prepare for changes in the Florida minimum wage:

Audit Your Expenses

How much are you already spending on overhead, supplies, and operating costs? You may be able to cut a few corners with certain expenses or by eliminating wasted spending. The money you save can be channeled into your human resources budget.

Determine Your Budget

Using these increased wage figures, calculate your new operating budget. Forecasting your operating expenses will let you know what you’re dealing with and provide an idea of what your income needs to be to maintain your profit margin.

Update Your Tech Stack

A tech stack refers to the digital tools you need to run your business. An update can help you to automate your social media presence, streamline scheduling, or integrate automated forms into your company’s website. These improvements optimize your business without the need for additional personnel or work hours.

Check Your Employee Classifications

How many full-time employees do you need? How many part-time employees do you need? Of course, you don’t need to start considering downsizing, but at the same time, it can be helpful to consider what your future needs may be.

Staff Accordingly

You may find that in the future, you can get by with fewer staff members. Perhaps you can rely on part-time staff to fill roles that you currently staff with full-time employees.

Gradually Increase Prices

Your new operating costs will probably push you to increase your prices to maintain your profit margin. However, raising prices slowly will give your loyal customers time to adjust while still ensuring you get the revenue you need.

Outsource Your Back Office

Are you still handling your own bookkeeping and accounting? Paying an employee to handle these specialized tasks may put a strain on your operating budget. Instead, outsource these tasks to a company like Xendoo. We can keep your company up and running without allocating your employees to do the job.

Contact Xendoo Today

The increase in the Florida minimum wage might mean big changes for your business. At Xendoo, we can help you stay ahead of the curve, adapt to these changes, and remain healthy and profitable.

 We understand the challenges that Florida small businesses face. We can provide small business owners with Florida bookkeeping services that ensure accuracy and efficiency so that you don’t have to allocate precious resources to maintaining the books. 

We can also help you with your Florida tax preparation, helping you to navigate the laws and changes that are likely to come your way in the immediate future.

 

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.