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Black male business owner and white female business owner looking at a tablet, discussing business performance

3 Keys to Working Smarter, Not Harder in Business

Work Smarter, Not Harder

At SmartScout, we built our business around the idea of working “smarter”. Easy enough to say. What steps can small business owners take to work smarter? Glad you asked.

The three keys to working smarter, not harder, in business are education, technology, and delegation. In this blog post, we will show you how you can use these keys to expand your knowledge, streamline your workflow, and delegate work to your team to grow their skills.  

1. Never Stop Learning

What counts as educating yourself? It is both more and less than you might think. Reading this blog, for example, counts toward educating yourself. You either came to this blog because you were already following it, or you were searching for the answer to a specific question. It is crucial to stay informed on what is happening in your business niche so you can keep up with the competition and continue to grow your knowledge. However, this tends to keep you on surface level subjects, and when you find a topic that really interests you, you need to dive in deeper.

Watch Youtube videos, listen to podcasts, and take training courses. Even better is to learn from experts who actually walk the walk. Follow industry leaders on social media, and ask them questions when you can. Attend networking events and trade shows to connect with industry leaders and fellow life-long learners.

Most important of all, never stop learning. Self-improvement is a never-ending game, so find the way it works best for you, and keep at it!

2. Automate with Technology

Automate tedious work with technology to save time and minimize human error. One of the beauties of the modern world is that technology can steamline almost any task. There are solutions for every business function, including product research

For example, eCommerce business owners can save time by utilizing an online research tool such as SmartScout. The SmartScout database enables you to find thousands of lucrative products for arbitrage, calculate and reduce FBA fees, and increase product visibility with strategic advertising – just to name a few! Work that once took hours now takes moments with the SmartScout database. 

The goal is to balance time saved with money spent. If the task is outside of your area of expertise or simply takes up too much of your time, utilize tools that will save you time and sanity.  

3. Let Go and Delegate

Just like you need to give thoughtless tasks to technology, give thoughtful tasks to other people, so they can do their highest level thinking. This gets hard when it comes to things you are passionate about. Ask yourself, what are you holding onto that you need to let go of?

This is the reason why people who are promoted for their skills in a field often struggle as managers. They do not communicate with their team, nor do they trust them to follow through on assignments. To be a good delegator, you must become a good manager. Communicate clearly with your team and trust them with the tasks you give them, so they can help grow the business and their skillset.

What about the tasks that you do not like to do? If you lack expertise in a particular area and do not have a team member to take up the responsibility, partner with a professional. 

Many business owners spend countless hours on bookkeeping, which takes time away from running their businesses and enjoying their lives. By partnering with an online bookkeeper, they can effortlessly keep their financials up to date and stay tax-compliant, all with the support of an expert. This gives them the freedom to focus on what they love – growing their business. 

Need to improve your managerial or tech skills? Head back to the top of the list, and the cycle continues!

Always Getting Better

Successful business owners are always looking for ways to improve. The key is to work smarter, not harder! Continue to learn, automate mundane tasks with cutting-edge technology, and delegate work to save time and help your team grow in skill and knowledge. These simple practices can help you become the best business owner you can be!

What does your Amazon business need to succeed? With SmartScout, you have access to more product, brand, and seller data than anything out there. If you are ready to turbocharge your business, we are here to help!

A black female franchise owner, holding her Item 19 report, thinking about the future of her business

How Franchisors Can Build a Strong Item 19

How Much Money Can I Make?

As franchisors work to sell franchises, one question they will always be asked is, “how much money can I make?”. The answer to this question can be found within one section of the Franchise Disclosure Document: Item 19.

In order to create a compelling Item 19, franchisors need financial data on the performance of each franchise location. Typically, it is up to the franchisees to keep their books up to date and share that data with the franchisor. But, like many small business owners, they juggle countless responsibilities, may not understand the complexities of accounting, and bookkeeping understandably falls by the wayside. 

An Expert Team

Without the right tools, building a strong Item 19 can feel like a massive undertaking. But, with the support of a franchise bookkeeping team, franchisors can receive timely, accurate information that will help them build a compelling Item 19!

What is Item 19? 

Item 19 is a section in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), a document that must be presented to individuals who want to purchase a franchise. The purpose of Item 19 is for franchisors to lay out the financial performance representations (FPR) of the franchise. It paints a picture of how potential franchisees can expect to perform and estimates how much money they could make should they join the franchise.

Why is Item 19 Important?

Item 19 is more than just a rundown of financial performance. It is a powerful tool that aids in decision making, builds trust between the franchisor and potential franchisee, and sets realistic expectations.

  • Decision Making. A strong Item 19 helps franchisors attract and select the ideal franchisee candidates. It also ensures that a franchise brand is a solid investment, and helps the franchisee compare their options to determine if they are joining a successful business. 
  • Trust and Transparency. Item 19 signifies financial transparency and creates trust between the franchisor and potential franchisee. It shows that a franchisor knows their numbers, and has no issue disclosing them. The more information that can be provided on financial performance, the better. This transparency creates strong relationships between franchisors and their franchisees. 
  • Realistic Expectations. Item 19 allows the franchisor to set realistic expectations for financial performance. While a franchise may be profitable as a whole, individual success can vary. An Item 19 that contains data-backed projections of how much potential franchisees could realistically make provides the clarity they need to make an informed decision. 

How to Build a Strong Item 19

What do franchisors need to build a strong Item 19? Put simply, clear, accurate financials. The key elements that create a powerful Item 19 are: 

  • Average Gross Profit
  • Average Gross Sales
  • Cost breakdowns of goods and services
  • Operating cost insights
  • EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization)
  • Industry-specific data points (number of customers served, number of services provided or products sold, etc.)

These metrics provide financial insight into the franchise, clearly lay out the costs and obligations of a franchise purchase, and set realistic expectations for financial performance. 

The amount of information franchisors are able to share in Item 19 largely depends on the information their franchisees deliver. How can franchisees provide reliable, accurate information to their franchisors? It comes down to consistent monthly bookkeeping

The Necessary Resources 

Franchises have unique needs when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, such as tracking royalties and advertising fees, and sometimes, multi-currency support. All of it needs to be properly recorded in accounting software so monthly reports can be produced. Franchisors need a team of trusted experts with knowledge of the franchise space, so they can receive accurate data from their franchisees.

  • Consistent Monthly Bookkeeping. In order for franchisors to build a strong Item 19, they need up-to-date financial records for each franchise location. A bookkeeper can provide visibility into financial performance on the franchisee’s behalf, so franchisors have access to the information they need across all locations

An online bookkeeping service is particularly helpful in this situation. Instead of hiring multiple bookkeepers, the franchisor can rely on a single provider who delivers uniform services for each location – no matter where they are located.  

  • Accurate, Up-to-Date Reports. Accurate monthly reports are crucial to creating a solid Item 19, as all information is legally required to be accurate, truthful, and backed by numbers. A well-documented financial history showcases franchise growth and profitability and helps franchisors create a compelling Item 19. 

Expert Bookkeeping for Franchise Businesses

Xendoo Online Bookkeeping is a leading provider of online bookkeeping and accounting services for franchise businesses. Our franchise-focused team provides franchisors with timely report delivery and visibility into financial performance for each location.

Are we a fit for your franchise? Let’s talk! Schedule your free consultation today.

hiring a bookkeeper

How To Find The Right Online Accountant For Your Business

hiring a bookkeeper

Every small business owner should have access to an accountant. A small business accountant can provide guidance at every stage of your company’s development, and they can be invaluable when it comes to tax preparation, succession planning, and more. An online accountant can also deliver these services at a price that fits the limited budget of modern business owners. 

But finding the right accountant is about more than just cost. Today, we’ll go over the best features offered by online accountants for small business owners so that you can find the right fit for your company.

What to Look for in an Online Accountant

What should you expect when you’re searching for online accountants for small business needs? 

We’ve narrowed it down to these five essential features:

Industry Experience

Online accountants are not hard to find, but the key is to find an accountant whose skill set matches the needs of your business. 

What type of business do you run? Are you a service provider, a retailer, or exclusively eCommerce? Is your business structured as a partnership, an LLC, or an S Corp?

These questions will be critical in finding the right accountant. You’ll need to partner with an online accountant who has clear experience in preparing tax returns and financial documents for companies that have a similar profile to yours. 

Ideally, you’ll want an online accountant who has worked for companies of a similar size, revenue stream, and industry, too.

But don’t limit yourself to accountants that work with companies of your size. After all, most entrepreneurs entertain dreams of growing their businesses. This will also require the assistance of an accountant who has worked for companies that are larger than your own. 

Finding an accountant who has experience in working with companies your size and larger can set you on a positive trajectory, knowing that your accounting help will scale with your business.

Access to Tools

The right accountant for small business owners might also need to have some experience in cloud-based systems, especially if your business relies on such software as part of your regular operations.

Before committing to an accountant, make sure to go over these requirements, and ask about their prior experience. This will ensure that you hire an accountant whose experience matches the evolving needs of your company.

Dedicated Support

Some business owners might feel nervous that hiring online accountants for small business needs will deprive them of the personal touch of a regular employee. This concern is perfectly understandable, but the right accounting firm can offer dedicated support in the way that you choose. 

You need an online accounting service that relies on the latest and best accounting software. You want a provider who can minimize accounting errors and ensure a greater level of accuracy. This is especially important during tax season, where errors can lead to an audit and potentially result in penalties and fines. 

Online software also means that you’ll be able to access your company’s financial information anytime, anywhere

Xendoo provides a number of ways to keep clients connected to the process. Our online bookkeeping features include regular monthly reports that will keep you up to date on your cash flow and other financial data. 

All of our dedicated professionals are available on your terms, whether that be through email, text message, or a phone call. We’ll work with you to communicate when you want and how you want, so you never feel out of touch with your online CPA.

Streamlined Processes

Modern business owners face a variety of financial needs, including:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Tax planning
  • Tax preparation
  • Budgeting and planning
  • Personal tax preparation and filing

Partnering with online accountants for small business needs such as these can ensure that important processes are completed on time and with total accuracy.

Some business owners find that this is a welcome change from trying to juggle their own books. If you find yourself falling behind, some accounting firms offer catch-up accounting services, which can help you bring your books up to date. 

Xendoo, for instance, offers catch-up services to clients who have fallen months or even years behind.

By reconciling your books regularly, your small business accountant can ensure that you always have a clear picture of the financial health of your company. 

Understanding your cash flow can be invaluable when it comes to long-range planning, and it can also save you the hassle and expense of penalties from filing a late tax return.

Streamlining your financial processes can even be helpful for obtaining future business loans. Usually, lenders will expect to see a report of your company’s financial status. By having recent reports relating to your income and expenses, you’ll be able to gain access to the funds you need to grow your business.

Strong Reviews

Once you locate a few online accountants for small business owners, you’ll want to narrow down the field a bit further. What are other customers saying about this accounting service? 

While every accounting firm will boast of its strengths, the real evidence of its success is found in the testimony of its clients!

Typically, you won’t have to look far to find online reviews for an accounting firm, though the best online accountants will feature customer reviews and testimonials directly on their websites. 

These reviews provide several relevant clues about the nature of the firm. First, it communicates that other business owners have benefited from the services of an online accountant. Second, skimming through these reviews may help you locate companies that operate within your industry, which helps you to know whether an accounting firm “gets” the unique needs and challenges you face.

You might also check to see whether an accounting firm has received any third-party awards or certifications. Xendoo, for instance, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and currently holds an “A” rating, the highest rating available.

Transparent Pricing

Finally, you want to find an accountant that offers transparent pricing. How much does an accountant cost? An accountant for small business owners will usually charge around $40 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, though it’s not uncommon to find accountants that charge significantly more. 

An online accountant costs less than an in-person service, though you’ll want to make sure you find an accounting firm that offers transparent pricing. 

By “transparent,” we mean that there should be no hidden fees. You don’t want to find yourself “stuck” with an online accountant who later demands additional money for their services. It’s vital that you know what to expect and how much you’ll be charged for financial services.

At Xendoo, we offer several clear plans designed to fit the needs of your business. Our most popular plan will cost only $395 per month. 

Many business owners find that partnering with online accountants for small business services can save a significant amount of money that would otherwise be spent on a full-time employee.

Xendoo: Find an Online Accountant for Small Business

Where can you find an online accountant that ticks all these boxes? Xendoo strives for excellence in all these categories, thanks to our dedicated team of professionals.  

At Xendoo, we provide a variety of accounting and bookkeeping solutions that can be tailored to the needs of your business. 

Our friendly team of experts can straighten out your books, help you prepare for tax season, or provide the data you need for long-term success. 

Want to learn more? Take us for a test drive by signing up for our free trial, and see how Xendoo can bring your business even further into the future.

White male business owner, hunched over on his couch, staring at a pile of documents with a calculator in hand

4 Signs Your Business Needs Online Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is Holding You Back

Business owners know their companies like the back of their hands. They are the head of every department and perform the work of multiple people. Of all the roles they play, our customers express that the bookkeeper role is their least favorite. 

DIY bookkeeping holds business owners back from fully focusing on their business, which is why they decide to outsource it. Is it time for you to do the same? Let’s take a look at 4 signs that it could be time to hire an online bookkeeper! 

#1. Bookkeeping Takes Time Away from Your Business… and Your Life

Assess what bookkeeping is costing you. Is it taking significant time away from running your business? Let’s break it down. 

Suppose your time is worth $200 per hour, and you spend 10 hours per month doing your books. That costs you $2,000 per month just for bookkeeping! How much could you increase your sales? What else could you accomplish with that time? 

How does bookkeeping affect your personal life? Before partnering with us, many of our customers were up late at night and missed out on time with loved ones due to bookkeeping. Whether you are closing sales or enjoying a family dinner, your time is valuable. DIY bookkeeping does not make sense when you could be spending your time on the things that matter to you.

#2. Your Books are Behind

It is impossible to evaluate your business’ financial health when your books are behind. Old data cannot predict cash flow, track your revenue, or indicate if you are profitable. Out-of-date books may prevent you from making the best financial decisions for your business.

A professional bookkeeper can bring your books up to date. Bookkeepers input and classify your monthly activity. They also generate vital monthly reports such as Profit & Loss statements and Balance Sheets, which display your total income and expenses and your assets and liabilities, respectively. They also provide actionable insight to the current state of your finances. Xendoo bookkeepers reconcile your books weekly to keep you on track for future success.

Guess what! You are not alone. 25% of business owners are behind on their bookkeeping. Whether you are behind a few months or a few years, Xendoo will bring your finances up to date in no time. To get your books caught up, click here.  

#3. You are Not Sure if You are Doing Your Books Correctly

DIY bookkeeping leaves room for error, especially in the hectic life of a business owner. It is rarely anyone’s area of expertise (or passion). If your numbers are not adding up, do not wait until tax season to figure out why.      

Bookkeepers connect the dots between your sales, expenses, and profits to ensure business growth. They know how to properly categorize your transactions, keeping your books compliant and ready for tax season. At Xendoo Online Bookkeeping, you can rely on your dedicated team of finance experts to deliver accurate statements and financial peace of mind year-round.

#4. Tax Season is Chaotic

When tax season rolls around, do you drop off a 30-pound box of receipts at your accountant’s office and hope for the best? After all the back and forth, are you disappointed by your tax refund? 

A chaotic and unrewarding tax season is a surefire sign that it is time to hire a bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper’s meticulous organization of your finances sets you up for smooth sailing during the most dreaded time of the year. 

Best of all, because your bookkeeper understands your business and your finances, they recognize every opportunity to maximize your tax savings! You will never have to worry if you pay too much in taxes. With a bookkeeper on your corner, you can walk into tax season prepared – and you will walk out knowing you maximized your tax savings!

The Importance of Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is vital to the success of every business. It provides insight into your financial health and drives your decisions. When your books are in order, you can strategize effectively and plan for growth. Keeping your books compliant and up to date is crucial throughout the year so that you are ready for tax season. Consistent bookkeeping habits maximize your deductions and make an otherwise stressful time, a breeze. 

Bookkeeping is preventative care for your business. It puts a microscope on your finances to help you catch small problems before they snowball. A professional bookkeeper can take the stress of bookkeeping off of your plate so you can fully focus on running your business. 

Xendoo Does it for You

Bookkeeping does not have to be an uphill battle. Let Xendoo’s expert online bookkeeping and tax team handle the hassles so you can have more time for what you love!

Schedule your free consultation today!

 

 

 

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.

 

Asian female business owner, working on her laptop in her art studio

How Do I Pay Myself and My Taxes as a Sole Proprietor?

Where to Begin?

Businesses are created because business owners have a passion that needs to be pursued.  They may be changing the world and even their own lives. Payroll, however, is most likely not their passion. Yet, every business owner faces the unique challenge of figuring out how to pay themselves.

Paying yourself as a sole proprietor can feel daunting. How much do you pay yourself? How do taxes factor in? Unless you have a side hustle as a financial advisor, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Self-Payment, Simplified

Breathe a sigh of relief. Paying yourself as a sole proprietor is not as complicated as it seems. Tax filing is simplified too! In this blog post, we will walk you through paying yourself as a sole proprietor!

 

How Do I Pay Myself?

You can pay yourself as a sole proprietor by taking an Owner’s Draw. An Owner’s Draw differs from a regular salary in that you can take money from your earnings as needed. Depending on how well your business is doing, you can take more or less, allowing for flexibility in your payments.

If your business is profitable, start by subtracting liabilities (any debt your company owes) from assets (items of value the company owns that will provide benefit in the future). The remaining amount is referred to as ownership equity, which is what you will take your draw from. Once you decide on an amount to take (more on that in a moment), it can be transferred from your business bank account to your personal account.

Because the Owner’s Draw is taken from ownership equity, it reduces the funds that can be used for the business. Sole proprietors must balance how much they need to support themselves and what their business needs to thrive.

How Much Do I Pay Myself?

To set an appropriate payment for yourself, you have to determine your projected profits. To estimate how much you can draw and when you must:

  • Set up a separate business bank account. As a sole proprietor, you do not need to incorporate or register your business. The business name will default to your legal name unless you file a DBA (doing business as), which allows you to operate under a different name. Once your DBA is set up, you can open a business bank account. This ensures that your personal and business expenses stay separate, and creates an accurate picture of your business’s finances.

 

  • Keep your books up to date. Keeping detailed records of your income and expenses will help you identify when cash flows into and out of your business, and how cash flow may change over time. An online bookkeeping service will be able to take this task off your plate, saving you time and stress. You will also receive monthly reports that give you actionable insights to help you make the best decisions for your business.

This will help you determine your projected profits and when you should take your draw. You can start out by paying yourself only what you need to meet your basic needs until your business breaks even. From there, you can increase your pay to your “market value”. You can increase your pay again once your business is producing consistent profits. How often you choose to draw is up to you. Some may follow a bi-weekly schedule, others may draw as needed. It ultimately depends on your personal preference.

How to Pay Your Taxes

Sole proprietorships are considered pass-through entities, meaning the IRS views your business, personal assets, and liabilities as one and the same. Because of this, you are only required to file a personal tax return. Income and expenses related to your business are accounted for on your individual Form 1040, Schedule C.

While the Owner’s Draw is not subject to federal or state income tax, it is also not expense-able. It will appear under the total net income of the business, which is taxable. Be aware that sole proprietors are required to withhold self-employment taxes, which contribute to Social Security and Medicare. As of right now, the self-employment tax rate is 15.3%.

So, how can you maximize your tax savings? Business tax preparation and filings are included with almost all of our packages! Your online Tax CPA takes care of filing your Schedule C that goes along with your personal tax return to itemize business deductions.

Xendoo is Here for You

The good news is that you do not have to figure it all out on your own. Xendoo Online Bookkeeping is here to help! We move at the speed of business, so you can make informed decisions faster – like deciding how much you should pay yourself as a sole proprietor! Get started with a free trial.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a free consultation with a Xendoo accountant today!

 

Want to learn more? Learn the difference between the business entity types here. 

 

 

Small business owners must adapt to digital transformation

4 Reasons Why Digital Transformation Is Table Stakes for Small Businesses

Small businesses are making the leap into digitalization to respond to evolving consumer behavior and expectations, adapting to new working norms, putting data to work to drive performance and building business resiliency.

Black male consultant points to a laptop screen with bookkeeping plan details. He is discussing options with a potential customer, who is out of frame.

Online Bookkeeping Services for Small Business Owners

Author’s Note: This post was updated on February 23, 2022, with new information, links, and resources.

Bookkeeping is vital to the success of every business, but business owners rarely have the time (or desire) to manage it themselves. Many small businesses save time by partnering with an online bookkeeping and accounting team. However, there are some key features to consider when selecting online bookkeeping services for your small business.

What Is Online Bookkeeping?

Online bookkeeping, also called virtual bookkeeping, means managing your bookkeeping remotely. 

A virtual bookkeeper works directly with your business to manage your company’s accounting and financial reporting. Typically, your company’s financial activity, records, and transactions will be stored in cloud-based accounting software that you are able to easily access.

An online bookkeeper will initially undergo a consultation with you to understand the needs of your business and your regular financial activities. Then, they can set up a system to generate sales invoices, manage accounts payable, and process payroll. With the right online bookkeeper, you can regularly view your company’s financials and make strategic business decisions. How do you choose the right financial partner for your business?

There are many options available, ranging from traditional CPAs to tech-savvy online providers. 

Today, we will take a look at two popular options: Xendoo Online Bookkeeping and Bench. Both provide quality bookkeeping and tax services, but there are some key differences in features that may tip the scale for you: 

  • Online bookkeeping and tax services 
  • Additional services
  • Accounting software 
  • Free trial

In this blog post, we will explore these differences so that you can make the best choice for your business.

Online Bookkeeping Services and Taxes

Xendoo’s online bookkeeping and tax packages start at $295, with a bookkeeping-only plan that starts at $195 per month. We reconcile your books weekly, and deliver your reports as early as the 5th business day of the month, depending on the plan you select. 

Bench offers three bookkeeping and tax plans, with prices starting at $299 per month ($249/annual). Bench’s Core package requires a partnership with LendingClub. You can connect your existing bank accounts and debit cards on the Flex and Pro plans, which are more expensive. Tax services are available on all plans, but they do not offer a bookkeeping-only package at this time. 

What Services Do Virtual Bookkeepers Offer?

You may also want to consider what other financial services your business needs. A virtual bookkeeper offers a wide range of services. These may include any of the following:

Cash Reconciliation

Your company may have many cash transactions throughout the month. These can include payments, receipts, and other items. A virtual bookkeeper can connect your cash and lines of credit with your accounting system to record transactions as they occur automatically. 

Accounts Receivable Management

As a business owner, you likely don’t have a lot of time to chase down overdue payments from your customers. Instead, your focus is on growing and managing your business. A virtual bookkeeping service can assist you with client account collections and ensure that any significantly overdue accounts are brought to your attention immediately.

Accounts Payable Management 

Rather than relying on what you think you have incurred in expenses for the month, you can allow a virtual bookkeeper to record actual and expected expenses. This approach allows you to strategically plan your outgoing cash flow for the upcoming weeks.

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management tracks the money that you have coming into and out of your business. Online accounting services should provide a clear picture of your cash flow. Simply put, money coming in from revenue should be greater than money going out for employee pay, vendors, tools, and other expenses.  

Financial Reporting

Accurate financial reports are an important part of the monthly accounting process. Xendoo’s financial reports include profit and loss statements and balance sheets. Plus, you can view reports from anywhere with the mobile app.

Tax Preparation

Frequently, online bookkeeping services will offer tax preparation services. This service can save you a lot of time and effort. You can also make sure that your tax return will be completed by someone who understands your company and its financial performance. 

What if you are behind on your bookkeeping? Outside of the ongoing subscriptions, Xendoo and Bench offer catch up bookkeeping services so you can get previous months’ books in order!

Accounting Software

There are a number of online accounting software systems available. The most popular include QuickBooks Online and Xero. Both of these services are cloud-based, with modern user interfaces that are easy to interpret. They integrate with a number of third-party applications, which gives them greater functionality. 

Prices for both systems are much less than you would pay for a full ERP. However, both systems allow for a wide range of reporting tools that are perfect for small business accounting. 

They have the ability to reconcile cash accounts and provide accurate accounts receivable and payable reports. You may also generate a full set of financial statements for monthly reporting purposes.

The biggest difference between Xendoo and Bench is the software used to do your bookkeeping and accounting. 

Xendoo works with both Quickbooks Online and Xero. The biggest advantage of these two programs is that you own the software. Working with Quickbooks Online and Xero, you will always have access to your financial records, no matter who does your bookkeeping.

Bench only uses its proprietary software, which does not integrate with any other accounting programs. If you ever need to leave Bench, your records will not go with you and your financial history will have to be rebuilt. If you want to be able to hold onto your data, Bench may not be the best choice for your business. 

Try Us Out

Xendoo offers a free trial. The online accounting team completes your books from the previous month and provides a Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet. 

What happens if Xendoo is not the best fit for you? In that case, we will gladly connect you with others in our network so you can find your ideal financial partner. The completed books and financial reports are yours to keep in your QuickBooks Online or Xero subscription! 

If you decide not to work with Bench, you can hold onto the financial reports, but you will no longer have access to the previous month’s bookkeeping as it is done in their proprietary software.  

We’ve done a detailed Xendoo vs Bench comparison, but we’ve highlighted key differences in the chart below: 

*Some options may only be available on certain plans.

Who Is Right for You?

It depends! Every business owner needs their bookkeeping done, and they deserve the freedom to take their data with them. Xendoo Online Bookkeeping works with industry-standard accounting software, ensuring you will always have access to your financial records and data.

Are we a fit for your business? Schedule your free consultation today!

 

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 adds items to her online store.

How an Online Accountant Can Help Your Business Recover Post-COVID

An eCommerce seller adds items to her online store.

Everyone was affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it was by contracting the disease, dealing with illness in your family, or just the extended effects of the shutdowns and restrictions, this global event didn’t leave anyone untouched. 

For business owners, the challenge of keeping the doors open and the lights on has been significant. Depending on your industry, you may have had to operate in a significantly modified capacity – or you may not have been able to operate at all. Sadly, many businesses did not make it through the pandemic and were forced to close. As restrictions start to lift in many areas, business owners need to carefully construct a plan for getting back on track. 

In this post, we’d like to focus on business recovery. Specifically, we’d like to talk about how your business can lean on an accountant to aid with the various elements of the recovery process. Let’s take a closer look. 

An online accounting service is always important

Before we dive into the specifics of business recovery after the pandemic, we should state the obvious – a good accountant is always important. Whether times are good or bad, the work a reliable accountant does for a business is indispensable. Keeping accurate books, producing financial reports, and paying taxes are all important no matter what is going on in the world. 

With that said, the road to recovery after such a long and difficult stretch is sure to be challenging. Countless businesses are vying for the attention of consumers and clients, and even more are going to close in the years ahead. You can’t afford to let any advantage slip away, and having a trusted accountant by your side is a big opportunity that can help grow your business.

What roles does an accountant play in your business recovery?

The list below highlights some of the specific ways an accountant can help guide your business through the months and years ahead. 

  • Covering the basics. In difficult times, it’s even more important to make sure the basics of doing business are covered. And there is nothing more basic in the business world than keeping accurate books. With an accountant available, you can make sure bank statements are reconciled, financial statements are prepared in a timely manner, and more. Whether you need to do some catch up bookkeeping or you just want to open up time in your schedule, an accountant is the answer. 
  • Collecting every dollar. Okay – so you’ll probably never be able to collect every single dollar that is owed to your business, but a good accountant will work hard to collect on as much of your accounts receivable as possible. In this kind of business environment, every single invoice is important, so you don’t want to let any just slide through the cracks. 
  • Chart a recovery timeline. It’s quite likely that your business isn’t in great financial shape at the moment. That’s certainly understandable, and you aren’t alone. With the help of an accountant, you can plan out a path to recovery that is reasonable and attainable based on your financial reports and projects. It will be difficult to plan a recovery effort without an accountant to bring some accuracy to the financial side of things. 
  • Seek funding. Finally, your accountant may be aware of some loan options or other funding sources your business could consider. Fewer and fewer resources are going to be available to businesses as the pandemic wanes, so knowing where to look for financial support is important. 

Why you should outsource your accounting

There is a flip side to all this talk about the importance of accountants – they aren’t free. It costs money to hire an accountant, and during such difficult times, you might be tempted to do as much of the accounting work yourself as possible.

Fortunately, outsourced accounting and bookkeeping is an affordable alternative and sort of a middle ground between hiring a full-time accountant and taking the DIY approach. When you outsource accounting and bookkeeping, you can bring down overhead costs in the back office while simultaneously getting the expert help and input you require to save time and make decisions. Your business needs you to lead the charge toward recovery, and that’s going to be hard to do if you are sitting in the back with your nose buried in spreadsheets. 

Conclusion

Xendoo loves to take the stress out of accounting. We have been serving businesses since long before the pandemic began, and we are proud to be here to help all kinds of business owners make it through this challenging time. With reliable, affordable, and versatile services, you can lean on Xendoo to keep your financial house in order. 

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

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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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How Outsourcing Accounting Can Help Grow Your Small Business

Small business owners are notoriously short on time. They manage everything from sales and marketing to employee scheduling and benefits, not to mention being an expert in whatever good or service it is that their business offers. And there are hurdles every step of the way as you try to grow your business. Hiring an outsourced accounting service can help you tackle many of these including ensuring you don’t pay too much in taxes, that you have time to focus on sales and marketing, and that you are able to prepare thorough financial reports for investors.

Why is an accountant important in a business?

Accountants consider the big picture strategy needed to keep your business strong and growing. They can answer your questions about financial reports, cash flow, depreciation, and more. They can give tax savings advice, such as when to make capital purchases, what you can deduct, and how to reduce taxes on capital gains. They can identify opportunities to improve profit margin and business growth and keep you legal – preventing missed deadlines and noncompliance penalties. 

When you’re looking to grow your business but don’t have the time or resources to do so, hiring an outsourced accountant or outsourced accounting service like Xendoo can free up your time and provide insights and ways into how you can increase your cash flow, strategically prepare for your taxes, and focus on what you do best.

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How does outsourcing accounting help your business grow?

It’s not just keeping track of your financials. Outsourcing an account can help your business grow in the following ways:

Accountants help save money

We can tackle the reinvestment more in detail here and use the tax preparation anchor here. 

Accountants help small business owners save money in many ways, including through strategic tax preparation. They help you make smart decisions on your operating expenses, when to make big purchases, and what deductions you can make. Many small business owners spend too much money on taxes – an accountant can help you prevent overspending on taxes and help you strategize on how to cut costs in every area of operation. The money you spend on an accountant is an investment into your business and will help you grow by saving you money in the long run and leaving you with more money to invest back into your business. 

Accountants help save you time

Time can be spent on marketing and other business growth while they look into the books.

Small business owners have enough on their to-do list – when you’re looking to outsource some of the work and focus on growing, outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services are the best choices. Bookkeepers and accountants will do a better job at a quicker pace than a small business owner who is strapped for time and whose talents might lie elsewhere. You’ll be able to focus on sales, marketing, and all of the other ins and outs of growing your business when you aren’t worrying about accounting.

Outsourced accounting services are scalable

As you grow so can your services without the need to hire FTE. 

Your outsourced accounting team can easily grow as your small business does. You won’t need to hire a full-time employee to handle your accounting when you have a scalable outsourced accounting team on board. You can skip the hassle of hiring and managing a full-time employee as you grow (and save on the need to offer expensive benefits, too!) by hiring outsourced accounting services like Xendoo.

Better business analysis

Gives you accurate insights into your business strengths and weaknesses, which is important if you want to expand. Investors will want to see accurate books. 

As you grow you will continuously need better analytics on your business. An outsourced accounting team can provide accurate insights into your business strengths and weaknesses, helping you strategize on how to grow. And when you’re ready to take on investors or apply for a line of credit the banks and investors will want to see accurate and detailed financial reports. By having an outsourced accountant on your team, you will be able to show investors and banks precise, up-to-date records and prove you take your finances and the growth of your small business seriously.

Help increase cash flow

Keep track of outgoing and incoming money. Can find ways to help you save money long term with paying on time or ahead, and chasing down delinquent invoices. 

A key strategy to growing your business is taking charge of your cash flow. Outsourced accounting services like the team at Xendoo can keep track of your incoming and outgoing money and can help you find ways to save money in the long term – through strategic tax preparation, cutting operational costs, and paying your bills on time or even ahead of time! And they can help you chase down delinquent invoices from clients who are behind on paying you. Your accounts payable and receivable will be closely monitored and managed without you ever needing to worry about it.

Outsourcing accounting can help you grow your business.  By outsourcing your accounting, you can save money on hiring a full-time accountant, plus, it will give you more time to focus on running your business and creating value for your customers and your employees.  Xendoo is all about providing timely and accurate financial information to business owners allowing them to make strategic decisions. If your business is struggling, know that there is a better way and Xendoo can help. 

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.