Category Archives: Blog

Start Planning Now for 2014 Income Taxes

You may not have even completed your 2013 taxes yet. But now is an ideal time to start getting ready for your 2014 returns. We know that you’re in some stage of preparation for your 2013 income taxes. It may … Continue reading

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Is Your Business Using the Right Accounting System?

Have you ever tried on a shirt or jeans and found they didn’t fit at all?  They looked great on the hangar, but that was the end of it.  Accounting systems come in all sizes, shapes, and colors just like … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Reconnect with Your Passion for Your Business

As business owners, we are a highly self-motivated bunch of people.  We love our businesses, we love helping our customers, and we work very hard at what we do.  Sometimes we work so hard, we get disconnected from our passion.  … Continue reading

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Hot Business Topics to Research in 2014

Six Business Topics and Trends to Study for 2014 Happy New Year!  The New Year brings new areas to benefit from and be aware of.  You’ve likely heard these topics mentioned in the news.  The question is, have you stopped … Continue reading

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Paying Bills in QuickBooks Online: 2 Steps

If you’re used to opening an envelope, writing a check and mailing your payment, you’ll find bill-paying easier and faster in QuickBooks Online. If you’re paying bills manually, this is probably one of your least favorite accounting chores. First, you … Continue reading

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Make QuickBooks Yours in 2014: Customize

QuickBooks can be used as is (with some exceptions), but you can customize many elements to improve your workflow, your form output and your business insight. While many of the things you purchase and use in your daily work and … Continue reading

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8 Things You Should Know About IRS Audits

Yes, the word strikes fear in every taxpayer’s heart. Here are the basics. You may know someone who’s been through an IRS audit. You’ve at least heard that it can be a grueling, complex process. But how much do you … Continue reading

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Create a Theme for a Prosperous and Meaningful New Year

It’s almost 2014, and at this time of year, it’s natural for us to pause and reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go.  For business owners, it’s especially important to raise our minds above the daily … Continue reading

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Optimize Your Revenue Mix for More Profits in 2014

Many small business owners focus on generating more revenue every year, and that’s a great objective.  But not all revenue is created equally.  If you sell more than one product or service in your business, then you can benefit from … Continue reading

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Creating Estimates in QuickBooks Online

Once you’ve entered customers and items in QuickBooks Online, you’re ready to start creating estimates. In a previous column, we showed you how you could get up and running with QuickBooks Online and create your first invoice within an hour. … Continue reading

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Receiving Payments from Customers in QuickBooks

Depending on the situation, there’s more than one way to record a payment in QuickBooks. Here are your options. There are undoubtedly some QuickBooks tasks that are more enjoyable than others. It’s no fun paying bills, for example, and making … Continue reading

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Striking Out on Your Own in 2014? Your New Tax Obligations

Many newly self-employed individuals get quite a shock when they start planning for income taxes. Here’s what you need to know. You probably remember your surprise when you got your first paycheck from your first job in high school or … Continue reading

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What to Do When Calling the Help Line Doesn’t Help

Have you ever called a help line and at the end of the call had a bigger problem than before you called?  Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.   Navigating the help line process can be a challenge for anyone’s patience.   Here are … Continue reading

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QuickBooks 2014 Simplifies, Accelerates Common Tasks

New version of desktop QuickBooks accomplishes goal of speeding up, refining your workflow. If Intuit named its desktop versions of QuickBooks by the version number rather than the year, we’d be in version 20-something by now. QuickBooks, still the preferred … Continue reading

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Five Tips to Get Ready for a Pain-Free Tax Time

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to get your financial records in order.  Tax moves you make now can mean finding more “green” to spend on family gifts and festivities.  Here are five quick … Continue reading

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Do You Need a More Robust Version of QuickBooks?

Maybe you just need to study your current version thoroughly. But it might be time to move up. If QuickBooks were just one product, its appeal would be more limited than it is. Because there’s an entire family of Windows … Continue reading

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QuickBooks Online Takes on a Whole New Look

Revamp of interface improves usability, while new open platform streamlines integration with related solutions. Since it was launched over a decade ago, QuickBooks Online has been easy to use. It’s been quicker and “lighter” than the desktop versions, thanks to … Continue reading

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Five Best-Practice Accounts Payable Tips for a Smoother Cash Flow

  Keeping an eye on cash balances is one of the most frequent activities of many business owners.  Besides making sure you have enough cash for payroll and bills, there is another huge opportunity you can benefit from: lowering the … Continue reading

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Avoid the Three Biggest Sales Mistakes and Close More Business

Every sales lead is precious.  It takes a lot to get people’s attention these days, and once a lead or prospect comes in your door, you’ve accomplished that hurdle, but now you have another one:  getting the business.  To ensure … Continue reading

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Five Fall Projects to Refresh Your Financial Results

  Five Fall Projects to Refresh Your Financial Results  As we move into the fall season and the final quarter of the year, it’s a perfect time to commit to a project in your business that will help you reach … Continue reading

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Preparing for Tax Prep: 5 Tips

Prepare for preparation? Yes, it’s more than a good idea. It can have significant impact on your tax obligation. You know how onerous tax preparation itself can be. So you probably don’t like to even think about it until those … Continue reading

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Five Fun Things to Add to Your Invoices

Five Fun Things to Add to Your Invoices When it comes to marketing, the company invoice might be the last thing you’d think about.  But think again:  it’s a great place to make every attempt to get paid faster and … Continue reading

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25 Accounting Terms You Should Know

It’s back-to-school time. Why not take a page from the kids’ books and do some learning of your own? QuickBooks is easy to use, intuitive and flexible. But it is not an accounting manual or class or tutorial. If your … Continue reading

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Do You Know Your Small Business Vitals?

Do You Know Your Small Business Vitals?  On a doctor’s visit, the first thing the nurse does is take your vitals:  your temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration rate.  These basic measurements are the first place doctors look to … Continue reading

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The Affordable Health Care Act: The Major Changes for 2014

You won’t have to worry about the most significant one until 2015. When the Affordable Health Care Act became law in 2010, its impact was wisely spread out over several years. As an individual and a business, you’ve likely already … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Rev Up Your Referrals

 Five Ways to Rev Up Your Referrals In the vast majority of industries, referrals are the most cost-effective way to gain new clients and grow your business.  When you attract new clients through referrals, your marketing costs are lower, your … Continue reading

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QuickBooks’ Custom Fields: On Overview

Part of QuickBooks’ popularity comes from its flexibility. Here’s a look at how custom fields contribute to that element. The beauty of QuickBooks is that it can be used for so many different kinds of businesses. Its smart design lets … Continue reading

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What Does Popeye Have to Do with Accounting?

What Does Popeye Have to Do with Accounting?  You might have heard the terms “cash basis accounting” or “accrual accounting.”  Your net income number can change depending on which method your books are set up for.  Here’s a simple explanation … Continue reading

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QuickBooks Online Certification Announcement

I’m honored to have just earned my Certified QuickBooks Online designation from Intuit.  We are excited to continue our strong relationship with Intuit in the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program where we receive outstanding access to higher-level software support, multiple software products including … Continue reading

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Is Your QuickBooks File a Mess?

Is your QuickBooks file a mess? It might be time for a health check! What is Data File Analysis? Many small businesses use QuickBooks reports to make significant business decisions without any reasonable confidence in the accuracy of their QuickBooks … Continue reading

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Mobile Accounting

Mobile Accounting  If you are the type of person who loves mobile apps, texting, and getting your email on your phone, then you’re in for a treat: accounting has finally come around to your smartphone.  Here are a couple of … Continue reading

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Budgeting Breakthrough

Budgeting Breakthrough When you hear the word “budget,” what do you think about?  Most people would say something similar to “Ugghh!” If you would rather do just about anything besides create a budget, you’re not alone.  The word “budget” brings … Continue reading

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Receiving Inventory With or Without Bills in QuickBooks

When your goods come rolling in, be sure to document them correctly. You’re probably happy to see couriers delivering inventory items you’ve ordered since it means you can ship to customers, but recording the new stock means yet another repetitive … Continue reading

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QuickBooks Online: Getting Around

So you finally made the decision to go mobile, and you’ve just spent some time getting acquainted with QuickBooks Online. Moving to the cloud will obviously change the way you work – for the better – and give you new … Continue reading

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Need an A/R Makeover? A Quick, 5-Item Best Practice Checklist

Technology has allowed businesses to make substantial improvements in their customer invoicing processes.  The good news is that when you implement these technologies, you will almost always get paid much faster.   If it’s been a few years since the … Continue reading

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Five Cash Leaks to Avoid

Cash flow improvement is a hot issue for small businesses; in many businesses, it seems like there is never enough cash when you need it. The last thing a business owner wants is to reduce their cash balance unnecessarily. To … Continue reading

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How to Create a Progress Invoice from an Estimate

Not using progress invoices? Maybe you should be. The U.S. economy may be picking up, but your customers are probably still being very careful with expenditures. If your company’s finances will allow it, you can help them out on sizable … Continue reading

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10 Tips to Perfect Check Printing in QuickBooks

Be sure that you’ve established all the right settings and understand the process.   If you used small business accounting products in the early days, you know how frustrating it was to print checks correctly from your software. Pre-printed checks … Continue reading

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The Fine Art of Prioritization

Running a business usually means putting in over 40 hours a week. In fact, if you’re the typical entrepreneur, you have more ideas you want to implement than you have time for! That’s when proactive, strategically executed prioritization can make … Continue reading

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Estimating Estimated Taxes: 3 Tips

  Determining how much to pay in estimated taxes for the current tax year isn’t an exact science. It’s kind of ironic, really. The taxpayers who could most easily calculate estimated taxes — salaried individuals whose employers deduct funds for … Continue reading

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Have You Been Hacked? How to Minimize Your Risk

Have You Been Hacked?  How to Minimize Your Risk Just about every day, we read in the news that another company has been hacked.  You might have already been directly affected by the password thefts at LinkedIn last year or … Continue reading

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Is Hosted QuickBooks Right for You?

If you are currently using the popular QuickBooks desktop software, you now have a fairly new option available to you: hosted QuickBooks. In this article, we’ll talk about what it is, what type of businesses it’s right for, and how … Continue reading

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Does This Icon Make Me Look Fat?

Does This Icon Make Me Look Fat? Spring is a good time to clean up and slim down QuickBooks and its data.

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Preparing Purchase Orders in QuickBooks

Preparing Purchase Orders Precisely   Modifying the default template makes tracking easier, more accurate.  Part of the reason for QuickBooks’ success is its exceptional flexibility. By allowing users to turn features and preferences on and off, the same software can … Continue reading

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Travel Expenses Too High? Revisit the Tax Rules

You know that your travel expenses are excessive, but you don’t know how to rein them in. Here’s a brief refresher. Business travel expenses are often a necessary evil, especially if your company’s sales reach spans the globe. Services like … Continue reading

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What is Cloud Accounting?

  One of the most exciting changes in the accounting industry is cloud accounting.  The concept is easy to grasp:  cloud accounting simply puts your accounting system in a private space online so that it is fully accessible to you … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Protect Your Cash

As entrepreneurs, we work hard for our money, and the last thing we need is to have it disappear due to fraud, hackers, or identity theft.  Some people have called 2013 the year of the hacker, which is worrisome.  But … Continue reading

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Use QuickBooks’ Tools – and Common Sense Procedures – To Prevent Financial Fraud

You work hard for your money. Strong internal controls can keep it from disappearing unnecessarily. You trust your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them. That’s what everyone says as they watch a valued staff member being hauled off in … Continue reading

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Is Your Data Backed Up?

Hopefully, you’re already making backups of the data on your business server on a regular basis.  It’s simple to set up data backups automatically and then forget about them until you need them.  But have you ever looked around to … Continue reading

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Employee or Independent Contractor? The Differences, and the Tax Forms

  Some major companies have gotten in trouble with the IRS for confusing the two. Full-time — and even some part-time — employees in the 1980s enjoyed a benefits bonanza. Health insurance, life insurance, pensions — new hires came to … Continue reading

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Seven Strategies to Put the Spring into Your Sales

Spring is here and that’s the perfect time to try something new in your business to make things fresh.  Here are seven ideas to try in your business; pick the one that’s most likely to put the spring in your … Continue reading

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Is 2013 the Year You Finally Go Mobile With Financial Data?

  Figure 1: You can see this screen no matter where you and your smartphone are – Android is pictured here.  Using QuickBooks Mobile, you’ll improve business relations, put out fires before they start and unchain yourself from your office computer. … Continue reading

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Planning for an Awesome 2013

For business with fiscal years that coincide with the calendar year, the slate of revenues and expenses will be wiped clean on New Year’s Day. Starting with a clean slate gives us a chance to reflect on our 2012 results … Continue reading

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Employee Retirement Plans: Tax Advantages and Other Benefits

Thinking of offering a retirement plan to your employees? Here’s some of what you need to know. If you were employed during the 1980s, you probably remember what a benefits bonanza that period was. Inexpensive health and life insurance. Short- … Continue reading

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Seven Year-End Adjustments to Make to Your Books

Year-end is coming up for many businesses, and it’d be nice to know what your final revenue and profit numbers will be for the year. Before we can calculate these key numbers, there are year-end adjustments that may need to … Continue reading

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Employee Retirement Plans: Tax Advantages and Other Benefits

Thinking of offering a retirement plan to your employees? Here’s some of what you need to know.

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Say Goodbye to 2012 and Ready QuickBooks for 2013

End of the year. QuickBooks has been hard at work for the past 11+ months, recording and tracking and storing all of that financial data that you’ve entered so faithfully.

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Five Things You Can Do to Make Tax Season Easier

We know we’ll never make tax season your favorite time of year, but perhaps we can make it easier. Here are five things you can do now to smooth out the time required to pull your records together for your … Continue reading

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Is Your Business Missing an Accounting Skillset?

Is Your Business Missing an Accounting Skillset? In a small business, the owner ends up wearing many hats to get the product or service delivered, the customers served, and the accounts settled. Within each functional area of a small business, … Continue reading

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Employee Retirement Plans: A Win-Win Situation

Clearly, your employees are winners when you sponsor a retirement plan. But there are advantages for you, too. A few decades ago, many employees could look forward to comfortable retirements. Interest rates on savings vehicles were high. Pensions were well-funded. … Continue reading

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Are You Defining Items in QuickBooks Correctly?

Create item records in QuickBooks carefully, and QuickBooks will return the favor by running useful, accurate reports.    Figure 1: Clearly-defined items result in precise reports.    Obviously, you’re using QuickBooks because you buy and/or sell products and/or services. You want … Continue reading

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Compliance Checklist: Seven Items You May Have Forgotten

  Running a business is filled with regulations everywhere you turn. These can drain precious time away from the core of your business, but if you ignore them, there could be huge financial consequences you may be risking without even … Continue reading

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Are You Vulnerable to Fraud?

  According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), over $3.5 trillion was projected to be lost to fraud worldwide in 2011 alone. The typical organization loses 5 percent of its revenues each year. While we have a lot … Continue reading

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QuickBooks 2013 Gives You a Reason To Upgrade

Tired of QuickBooks’ cramped, claustrophobic screens and uneven interface? You’ll be pleased to see the 2013 version.    You chose QuickBooks for a variety of reasons,   a major one being its simplicity and usability.

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Six Quick Productivity Tricks So You Can Go Home Early

  If you have an endless to-do list, you’re not alone these days. Most of us are constantly looking for ways to work smarter and get more done. Here are six quick tips to help your productivity so you can … Continue reading

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Five Favorite Freebies You Can Steal

  If you’re looking for ways to boost your productivity, technology is a great place to start. The good news is there are many free options available. Here are five favorites you might not know about.

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QuickBooks Payroll Runs: Easy, Fast, Accurate

  If you’ve already set up your QuickBooks employee and company payroll files, the hard part’s over.   It’s not just a catchy ad slogan: It’s true. Unless you have dozens of employees or numerous exceptions each payday, you can … Continue reading

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Create an Easy, Head-Turning Elevator Speech

You’re sitting in a room with 30 other business entrepreneurs. Each of you has one minute to introduce themselves to the group. You are number 25 to speak. Will anyone listen? What can you do or say to catch your … Continue reading

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Seven Ways to Wow Your Clients

One of the main reasons clients leave is because they feel ignored.  The cost of ignoring clients is high; you have to do more marketing and replace those clients when they leave.  The antidote to this is easy:  just stay … Continue reading

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