Category Archives: Blog

Are you a NEW Business?

  The SBDC is hosting a Small Business Workshop Series for Start-ups. The power-packed 4 session series includes learning how to effectively prepare and structure your big ideas, discover why you really need a business plan, understand your financials and … Continue reading

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Do You Have to File 1099’s by January 31st?

Are you required to file 1099’s or other information returns?  Here are some helpful tips from the IRS website to help you stay in compliance and avoid penalties, which start at $50 for each form you fail to file timely, … Continue reading

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Why is Monthly Bank Reconciliation so Important?

While reviewing a QuickBooks file recently, I checked the monthly bank reconciliation, and noticed it wasn’t prepared.  It turns out that my client was clicking everything in the register to check off the items as cleared, and didn’t actually make … Continue reading

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How to Use QuickBooks Online to Prepare Bank Reconciliations

A client recently asked me why his bank reconciliation needed to be prepared, and we went over how important it is to make sure all income and all expenses were accurately reflected in his accounting records.  He was certain that … Continue reading

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Have Your Layer Cake and Eat It Too

Have Your Layer Cake and Eat It Too The best cakes have layers and layers of different delicious flavors to enjoy. Stacked on top of one another, each layer is baked separately and becomes part of the whole. Like a … Continue reading

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Using Sales Receipts: When? How?

Using Sales Receipts: When? How? Some types of businesses always use sales receipts. Some use them occasionally. Here’s what you need to know about them. How do you let your customers know how much they owe you, and for what … Continue reading

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Charging for Time in QuickBooks Online Plus

Charging for Time in QuickBooks Online Plus, Part 1 You could be losing revenue if you’re not tracking billable time carefully. QuickBooks Online Plus can help. You can’t see time. Nor can you look at hours and minutes to see … Continue reading

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Cool Tech Tools: Cloud Storage

Cool Tech Tools: Cloud Storage Have you ever wished you didn’t have to buy yet another server? Do you have to delete old files on your hard drive to make room for new ones? If disk space is an issue … Continue reading

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Seven Small Business Risks You Might Not Know You’re Taking

Seven Small Business Risks You Might Not Know You’re Taking Running a small business is often about taking and managing risks. Market risks are normal but business and tax risks are another thing altogether. Most business and tax-related risks can … Continue reading

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Five Steps to Getting a Loan

Five Steps to Getting a Loan Most small businesses need help with cash during certain stages of their growth. If you find that you have more plans than cash to do them with, then it might be time for a … Continue reading

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Tracking Products and Services in QuickBooks Online

Tracking Products and Services in QuickBooks Online, Part 2 Last month, we explored the process of creating a product record. Now we’ll look at where they’re used in QuickBooks Online. Have you been able to create records for all of … Continue reading

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Are You Applying Finance Charges

Are You Applying Finance Charges? Should You Be? Assessing finance charges is a complicated process. But if you have a lot of late payments coming in, you may want to consider it. There are many reasons why your customers send … Continue reading

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Marketing by the Numbers

Marketing by the Numbers Two very important skills for entrepreneurs to master are marketing and finances. Combine them by understanding the numbers behind marketing, and you have an even more powerful understanding of exactly what makes your business tick. Key … Continue reading

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Tracking Products and Services in QuickBooks Online

Tracking Products and Services in QuickBooks Online, Part 1 Inventory management requires precision, constant attention, and smart decisions. QuickBooks Online can help. If you started small with your business, keeping track of your product inventory was probably pretty easy. Maybe … Continue reading

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Use QuickBooks Custom Fields to Improve Insight

Use QuickBooks Custom Fields to Improve Insight QuickBooks’ structure is universal enough to appeal to millions of small businesses. Custom fields help you shape it to meet your company’s unique needs. If you’re using QuickBooks, you probably know that you’re … Continue reading

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Six Ways to Put the Spring in Your Sales

Spring denotes new growth, fresh starts, and spring cleaning.  Why not apply these ideas to your sales so they can blossom along with spring flowers?  Here are six ideas to put the spring into your sales. Spring Cleaning Sales Get … Continue reading

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Boost Your Accounting Know-How with These Terms

Outsmart your accountant (well, not me) and other financial friends with these accounting-related definitions: Fiscal Year Most companies report their results on a calendar year, from January 1 through December 31.  Some companies use a different year for reporting, and … Continue reading

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Setting Up Settings in QuickBooks Online

You’ll be visiting QuickBooks Online’s Settings screen regularly, so it’s good to know what’s there. You can get into a rental car and just start driving to your destination. But you soon realize that you need to know where the … Continue reading

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Separating Business from Personal in Facebook

Do you love using Facebook with your friends but know you’re missing out by not using it in business?  Do you feel guilty when you post a business promotion and would prefer not to bug your friends?  The good news … Continue reading

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Why You Should Use QuickBooks’ Snapshots

QuickBooks provides multiple ways to get information about your customers, and their payments, and your company itself. The software’s Snapshots provide quick, thorough overviews. What do you do when you need to get information in QuickBooks about customers or about … Continue reading

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Cool Tech Tools: Boost Team Collaboration with Slack

Slack is a relatively new collaboration tool that is designed to cut down on emails among team members and boost productivity.  It provides messaging by topic or channel so that threads of communication can be streamlined and accessed easily. Slack … Continue reading

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What You Should Know About the QBO Mobile App

QuickBooks Online’s mobile app lacks some features found in the browser-based version, but it provides mobile access to tools you may want on the road. First, it’s free (except for your mobile data plan costs). Second, it’s good. And QuickBooks … Continue reading

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What QuickBooks’ Calendar Can Do for You

Yet another calendar? Yes. It’s a good idea to use QuickBooks’ calendar to stay on top of your financial transactions. These days, some of us find ourselves updating multiple calendars. There’s the Outlook calendar or other web-based solution for scheduling … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Delight Your Customers

Providing great service can make a huge difference in a small business.  For companies like Zappos, Nordstrom, and Southwest Airlines, customer service is a differentiator from their competitors.  Done right, good customer service can bring lots of referrals that lead … Continue reading

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How to Add Documents in QuickBooks

Accounting is about more than just numbers. QuickBooks lets you make documents available from within the program itself. You could call QuickBooks a “green” computer program. It can conserve reams of paper by storing customer and vendor records, for example, … Continue reading

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Will 2016 Be Your Best Year Ever?

If you want 2016 to be better than 2015, you have to do something differently in 2016 than you did in 2015.  It’s a simple but profound realization.  Change brings the opportunity to make things better; it can be scary … Continue reading

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Using QBO’s Accounts Receivable Reports

With the holidays and year-end over, you can turn your attention to catching up with your customers. It would be nice if we could neatly wrap up every accounting month or quarter or year neatly, with all of our transactions … Continue reading

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Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

You may have heard that Google has rolled out a new search algorithm that ranks mobile-friendly websites higher than sites that are not mobile-friendly.    You don’t need to worry too much about this unless you rely on website leads for … Continue reading

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An Introduction to the QuickBooks Online Customer Page

Your customers are the heartbeat of your business. QuickBooks Online helps you keep them happy. Do you remember how you used to keep track of information about your customers before you started using a computer for your accounting? A file … Continue reading

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Get Ready for 2016: QuickBooks Can Help

We’ll be ringing in the New Year soon. Will you have wrapped up your 2015 finances by then? There’s something very satisfying about turning our calendars to January. It always feels like a fresh start. We resolve to develop new, … Continue reading

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Get Finance-Savvy with 10 Accounting Terms

It’s good to know some basic accounting terms, and here are ten terms with friendly definitions for your review. Asset:  Essentially, assets are what you own.   These include your bank accounts, business equipment, and even the amounts that customers owe … Continue reading

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Cool Tech Tools: Automate Your To-Do List

Keeping a to-do list is a great way to be productive, avoid having things fall through the crack, and unclutter your brain.  How you maintain your to-do list varies: some people use pen and paper because they love the feeling … Continue reading

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How Pinterest and Instagram Can Make You Money

There’s a visual side to every business, and Pinterest and Instagram, which are social media applications, can show your customers and prospects what your business looks like form day to day.  Plus, you can have some real fun with it. … Continue reading

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Working with Employee Records in QuickBooks Online

Payroll requires countless details about each employee. QuickBooks Online will walk you through the process of entering them. If you’ve only been on the receiving end of a paycheck, you may not know just how much prep work went into … Continue reading

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QuickBooks Reminders Prevent Problems

Preserve your relationships with customers, vendors, and others by setting up reminders in QuickBooks. How many calendars do you maintain? Many businesspeople have more than one. Maybe you use a web-based or desktop application like Google Calendar or Outlook for … Continue reading

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Eight Ways to Save Time You Might Not Have Thought About

Time is money as they say, and if you can save time, you’re also saving money.  Since your time is limited to 24/7, both personal and business time saved is profitable.  Here are eight ways to save time (and money) … Continue reading

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Introducing the New QuickBooks Online for PC App

Like QuickBooks Online but miss some of the desktop version’s features? You can have both now. QuickBooks Online has grown tremendously since its introduction more than a decade ago. It’s not quite as mature as the top-of-the-line desktop versions, but … Continue reading

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Setting Up Employees in Xero

Preparing Xero to process your payroll requires time and attention to detail. Employees mean success. The fact that you’ve been able to hire a staff at your small business indicates that your products and/or services are in demand, and you … Continue reading

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Three Costly Accounting Mistakes to Avoid

Small business owners have a lot on their plates, and time simply does not allow you to become an expert in all the areas required for running a business.  Here are a couple of common mistakes that we see all … Continue reading

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Accounting for Time in QuickBooks

If you sell services to your customers, you’ll need to understand how to use QuickBooks’ time-tracking features. Small businesses that sell products have to do a constant balancing act. Keep too much inventory on hand, and you’re sitting on potential … Continue reading

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Cool Apps: Zapier

Do you need to get data from one app to another?   If so, it’s time to check out Zapier. You might be moving data manually from, let’s say, your shopping cart to your CRM or from Evernote to Google Docs, … Continue reading

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QuickBooks Online’s Sales Tax Tools: The Basics

Are you paying the correct amount of sales tax to the proper agencies? QuickBooks Online can help. It’s hard to imagine that small businesses used to have to manage sales tax manually. It was quite a time-intensive process, and it … Continue reading

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Customize QuickBooks Forms for a More Professional Image

Want an easy, free way to make your business look more professional and polished? Customize your forms. QuickBooks has the tools. You probably don’t get as many paper forms in the U.S. Mail as you used to. But when you … Continue reading

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Creating One-Time and Recurring Bills in Xero

Making money is more rewarding than spending it on business obligations. Xero takes some of the drudgery out of your accounts payable duties. Managing cash flow is a challenge for most businesses. There are many things you can do to … Continue reading

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Attract More Customers with Event Marketing

  Types of Events  Some of the more popular types of events you can hold include: A seminar or class An open house A neighborhood sale A networking meeting A reception or party or celebration or festival A conference  If … Continue reading

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Your Daily Numbers

Some numbers need reviewing on a daily basis, and one example of this is cash.  When cash is coming in from a number of places, it’s great to have a daily summary of what was collected. It’s also great to … Continue reading

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How to Reconcile Accounts in Xero

Manual, paper-based account reconciliation is a time-intensive, grueling task. Xero’s tools make it easier and faster. There are probably few financial processes that you loathe more than manual account reconciliation. Matching transactions in the checkbook register to the printed bank … Continue reading

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Cool Tech Tools: When There’s No Internet, Use Your Personal Hotspot

Have you ever been in a situation where there’s no internet and you needed it?  Or perhaps you’re at a hotel and don’t want to pay the extra $15 per day for wireless internet.  If so, you’re not alone, and … Continue reading

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How to Avoid Sales Tax Surprises

Sales tax laws are constantly changing, and sales tax audits have increased since states and local agencies have become creative about finding new ways to generate revenues.  If you haven’t made any changes in your sales tax procedures in a … Continue reading

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How QuickBooks Helps You Accelerate Receivables

Getting paid by your customers in a timely fashion is one of the biggest challenges of being a business owner. QuickBooks can help in several ways. You’re meeting your sales goals. Keeping inventory balanced. Making sure that every billable hour … Continue reading

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What to Do About Spam

Unfortunately, spam is an inevitable part of today’s digital world.  The bad news is if you have your spam settings set too tightly, you will lose good emails.  If you receive new prospects via email, you may miss out on … Continue reading

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Working with Bills and Expenses in Xero

It’s much more gratifying to work with incoming payments, but the money has to go out sometimes, too. Here’s an overview. Xero provides numerous ways to pay for goods and services that your company needs in Xero. How you do … Continue reading

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Q&A: IRS Audits

Being selected for an audit doesn’t mean that you’re suspected of incorrectly reporting your taxes. There’s no getting around it: The prospect of being audited by the IRS is unnerving. But the agency chooses to audit individuals and businesses for … Continue reading

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Mid-Year Milestones

Wow, can you believe that 2015 is half over already?  Now that we’ve crossed the halfway mark, it’s time to see if we’re on track for our 2015 goals.  To do that, we need to see if we’ve met our … Continue reading

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Creating Reports in QuickBooks Online

Reports are the payoff for all of your hard work entering records and transactions. They can help you make better business decisions. Now that you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for your company’s accounting, it’s probably unimaginable to think about going … Continue reading

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Receiving Payments in QuickBooks

It’s probably one of your favorite QuickBooks activities. Be sure you understand the mechanics of recording payments. There are numerous ways to prioritize your workday. Do the most difficult things first. Get important phone calls out of the way. Respond … Continue reading

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Cool Tech Tools: Customer Portals

If you have a business where you have to send documents of any kind to your customers, then you may benefit from a portal.  You can save time on customer service and possibly postage and labor.  You will also look … Continue reading

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Are You Using the Right Business Structure?

The business structure you use – sole proprietor, LLC, etc. – has tremendous impact on how your company operates and pays taxes. A business structure is simply an organizational framework. The IRS requires you to select one for your company, … Continue reading

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Working With Your Accounts in QuickBooks Online

“Account” can mean more than one thing in QuickBooks Online. Here’s a look at its multiple concepts. Until you started doing your company’s accounting, the word “account” probably meant a checking or savings account at a bank or your identifying … Continue reading

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Ten Excuses to Have a Sale

If you need cash fast, there’s nothing like having a sale to increase your bank account quickly.  Here are ten excuses you can use to tell your customers you’re having a sale. It’s Your Birthday (or Your Business’s Birthday) We … Continue reading

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Why You Should Be Using Mobile Apps with QuickBooks

Intuit discontinued its own QuickBooks mobile app a while back, but there’s still plenty of processing power available for your smartphone or tablet. In days gone by, running a company was a 40 hour per week proposition. You might have … Continue reading

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User Roles in Xero: How to Define Them

If you have multiple users in Xero, you’ll probably want to restrict them to specific areas of the site. If you were still using a paper accounting system, it’s unlikely that you would let everyone dig through file folders, peer … Continue reading

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Understanding How Teams Grow

Do you have employees who need to work together as a team?  Or perhaps you need to work as a team with your customers and vendors.  When people of different backgrounds get together for a common goal, there are often … Continue reading

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Use Xero’s Tracking Categories for More In-Depth Reporting

Xero offers numerous ways for you to sort and analyze your financial accounts. Tracking categories provide one kind of insightful filtering. Once you’ve spent some time working with Xero, you realize that your paper-and-Excel system was woefully inadequate. Instead of … Continue reading

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The Best Payment Terms for Faster Cash Flow

A great way to speed up your cash flow is to get paid faster by customers who owe you money.  One way to do that is to examine your payment terms to see if you can accelerate them.  First let’s … Continue reading

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Preventing Data Theft in QuickBooks

Be proactive about the security of your QuickBooks company file, and you’ll be less likely to encounter data theft. Thanks to the internet, privacy has been on the wane over the last few years. We assume that our addresses and … Continue reading

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Getting Ready for Payroll in QuickBooks Online

If you’re planning to do your own payroll in QuickBooks Online, you’ll need lots of setup time – and perhaps our assistance. Payroll setup and processing is probably the most complex, challenging set of tasks you’ll encounter in QuickBooks Online. … Continue reading

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Start Planning for 2015 Income Taxes Now: 5 Tips

Even if your 2014 refund hasn’t hit the mailbox yet, it’s time to get a jump on your 2015 taxes. What does the phrase “tax planning” mean to you? Hurriedly giving charitable donations in December to try to knock down … Continue reading

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What You Need to Know About Estimated Taxes

It’s not just self-employed individuals who are required by the IRS to pay estimated taxes. There are numerous advantages to being self-employed. The top benefit that most full-time, must-report-to-the-office employees most envy the most is your ability to establish your … Continue reading

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Five Modern Marketing Methods You May Not Know About

Older marketing methods like direct mail and cold calling just don’t work as effectively as they did a few decades ago.  There are two reasons for that: The trust level between people has dropped more than 20 percentage points in … Continue reading

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Using Purchase Orders in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online Plus offers the ability to create purchase orders. But they require knowledge that may be foreign to you. If your business purchases products from vendors that you then sell, you may have occasion to use purchase orders. These … Continue reading

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Cool Tech Tools: Google Drive

Google Drive, which used to be called Google Docs, is a great way to collaborate with team members and stakeholders that are in a different location than you are.  Here’s a quick introduction (or refresher) on how to use this … Continue reading

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How QuickBooks’ Custom Fields Can Provide Better Business Insight

QuickBooks’ customizability makes it flexible enough for countless business types. Custom fields are a big part of that. QuickBooks makes it possible for your business to create very detailed records for customers, vendors, employees, and items. In fact, you may … Continue reading

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Does Your Accounting Department Have Holes in It?

You’ve got someone to do your federal and state income tax returns, and you have a bookkeeper.  So that’s all that a small business needs when it comes to having an accounting department, right? Wrong. Large companies have many functions … Continue reading

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Creating Item Records in Xero

If your business buys and sells products, Xero can help you with the necessary record-keeping. When it comes to keeping track of inventory, product-based small businesses are probably a little envious of companies that sell services. Service companies may have … Continue reading

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Got Customers? Build Comprehensive Records for Them in Xero

Building thorough, precise customer records will improve the accuracy and depth of your transactions and reports. How did you keep track of your customers before you started using Xero? On paper forms in file folders? 3×5 cards? Maybe you created … Continue reading

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The Short and the Long of It

The balance sheet is one of the main financial reports for any business.  Among other things, it shows what a company owns, what they owe, and how much they and others have invested in the business.  One of the characteristics … Continue reading

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Contractor or Employee? How the Income Tax Obligations Differ

It’s a very important distinction, and one that can get you in hot water if you misclassify workers. Full-time employees of companies often look at independent contractors with envy. They can generally work whatever hours they want. They can sit … Continue reading

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Influencing Your Word-of-Mouth Results

Just about every business relies on “word-of-mouth” marketing to get the vast majority of its clients.  If this is true for your business, then it just makes sense to figure out how to boost your referrals from all sources.  Referrals … Continue reading

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New to QuickBooks Online? Take a Tour Around the Home Page

Switching from QuickBooks desktop or starting fresh with QuickBooks Online? Here’s a quick overview of its home page.  Whether or not you’ve ever used accounting software, we think you’ll like using QuickBooks Online. It was designed for small businesses who … Continue reading

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Memorizing Transactions in QuickBooks: Why? How?

QuickBooks saves time in countless ways, one of which is its ability to memorize transactions. Are you taking advantage of this feature?  One of the reasons you started using accounting software, among many others, was to save time. And QuickBooks … Continue reading

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Stretching QuickBooks Online: What You Can Do With Apps

QuickBooks Online has worked well for countless businesses as is. But if you need more than it offers in some areas, there’s likely to be an app for that. You’d be hard-pressed to find two small businesses in the U.S. … Continue reading

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Are Your Workers Contractors or Employees?

If you have workers in your business, you likely made a decision when you hired them as to whether they should be an employee or a contractor.  If all you hire is employees, then you have nothing to worry about.  … Continue reading

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Make Your Preferences Known in QuickBooks

QuickBooks is ready to use when you install it. But you can change its settings to make it work the way your company needs it to. There are some features that all small businesses need in their accounting software. Everyone … Continue reading

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The New Form 1095-A: Reporting Health Insurance Coverage

For the first time, all taxpayers must include information about their health care coverage to the IRS on their 2014 Form 1040. Another year, another tax form or two. 2014 was the first tax year that the Individual Shared Responsibility … Continue reading

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The One Question to Ask Each Day

As a business owner, you’re likely torn in a hundred different directions every day.  It can take up most of the work day just fighting fires, serving your customers, and answering employee’s questions.  It’s super-easy to lose sight of what … Continue reading

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Your First Hour with Xero

Once you’ve gone through the setup process, you’ll be ready to explore Xero’s features – and start entering your company’s records and transactions. If you’ve never used accounting software before – or if you have, and you had a less-than-optimal … Continue reading

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Are Your Social Security Payments Taxable?

Sometimes they are. Make sure you understand the IRS’s rules. Do you receive social security benefits?  Maybe you have retired and receive payments after working hard all your life.  Maybe you are disabled and receive payments as a result of … Continue reading

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Creating Item Records in Quickbooks

Accurate, thorough item records inform your customers and help you track inventory levels correctly. Whether you’re selling one-of-a-kind items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to … Continue reading

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Did You Resolve to Start Using QuickBooks Online in 2015?

Here’s an overview of the home page and what you can access from there. Many companies have been hesitant to trust their financial data – and that of their customers and vendors – to the internet, despite the fact that … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Streamline Data Entry

Are you manually entering data into your accounting system?  If so, there may be a way to enter that data that’s faster, cheaper, and better.  Data entry automation has come a long way.  Here are five common ways to automate … Continue reading

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Do You Have a Revenue Plan for 2015?

A great way to start the new year is to get clear on exactly how you can make your revenue goal number.  A revenue plan is the perfect tool.  You’ll need to be proficient in Excel, and if not, you … Continue reading

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Make Xero Yours: Customize Transaction Forms and Reports

Xero’s exceptional flexibility makes it a great application for countless types of businesses. Here’s an overview of some of your customization options. Clothes come in different sizes and colors. Vehicles come in a variety of makes and models. And there … Continue reading

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Planning for a Fabulous 2015

The holiday month of December brings celebration as well as reflection for all the events that occurred in 2014.  It also gives us great hope for a new fabulous start in 2015.  Here are three ideas to start 2015 with … Continue reading

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Using the Vendor Center in QuickBooks Online

To whom do you owe money to, how much, and when? The QuickBooks Online Vendor Center answers these questions quickly. Whoever handles Accounts Payable for your company has an unenviable job. While the Accounts Receivable person gets to send invoices … Continue reading

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Do You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

There are many requirements you must meet in order to qualify, but it may lower your tax bill. Supporting a family can be difficult, not to mention expensive. Working families whose income is fairly low need all the help they … Continue reading

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It’s Bonus Time!

Year-end is a great time to think about rewarding your staff for a job well done in 2014.  Here are a couple of quick tips to help you make the most of bonuses while protecting your business and cash flow. … Continue reading

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Using Statements in QuickBooks: The Basics

Most small businesses use invoices for billing customers. But there are times when you may want to send statements instead of – or in addition to – invoices. One of the more enjoyable parts of your job is probably sending … Continue reading

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Q&A: Understanding Your QuickBooks Online Accounts

The word “account” can mean more than one thing in QuickBooks Online. Before you started doing accounting tasks for your small business, the word “account” simply referred to your accounts at a financial institution – checking, savings, credit cards, etc. … Continue reading

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Catching Up with Your Contractors Before 1099 Time

In a little over a month, it will be 2015 and time for year-end accounting chores.   One of those chores is getting your 1099s out, and now is a good time to tie up loose ends so the year-end process … Continue reading

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Are You Eligible for Health Insurance Tax Credits?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) can save your small business money through its tax credits. If your small business has employees, you’ve undoubtedly been paying attention to the news coming out of Washington, D.C., about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). … Continue reading

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What Is Real-Time Accounting (and Why Should You Care)?

Real-time accounting is when your books are caught up to the present and you know exactly where you stand with your account balances, revenue, and profit. It’s truly doing your accounting in real time. The opposite of real-time accounting is … Continue reading

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Depositing Payments in QuickBooks: The Basics

Creating bank deposits manually can be a huge chore. QuickBooks simplifies this task. Satisfying though it may be to enter all of those customer payments manually on a paper deposit slip, it can also be tedious and time-consuming. The more … Continue reading

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How Understanding Assets Vs. Expenses Can Make You Rich

Assets and expenses both have a “debit” balance on the financial statements, but that’s where their similarities end.  Spending on one can make you rich and spending too much on the other can leave you broke.  An expense is money … Continue reading

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Sales Transactions in QuickBooks Online: An Overview

Your first transaction in QuickBooks Online was probably an invoice. But there are many others that you’ll want to know how to use. You probably process more invoices than any other kind of sales transaction in QuickBooks Online. And it’s … Continue reading

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Depreciating Equipment

Depreciation is a very complex element of the tax code. It’s best you don’t try to tackle it on your own. From time to time, you may buy a piece of equipment for your business. This can be anything from … Continue reading

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What’s Your Hourly Worth?

Time is the most precious resource on the planet, but sometimes we don’t treat it that way.  In our businesses, it’s important to get everything done, but we can also get overwhelmed with all the little things that need to … Continue reading

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Billing For Time in QuickBooks: An Overview

If you sell your employees’ time and skills, you can use QuickBooks to record those hours and bill your customers for them. If your small business sells products, you know how precisely you must track your starting stock numbers, ongoing … Continue reading

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Navigating Nanny Taxes and Household Payroll Compliance

Time is precious for most of us these days, and often, we need help at home so we can have more time to run our businesses or careers.  That may mean hiring help for personal tasks such as caregiving for … Continue reading

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Managing Users in QuickBooks Online

Unless you’re the sole user of QuickBooks Online in your company, you’ll need to know how to set up different access levels. “Anytime, anywhere access” is one of the buzz-phrases people use when they describe the benefits of cloud computing. … Continue reading

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How to Read Your Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet is an important report in your business’s financial statements.  Most small business owners are unsure of what all of the numbers mean on this report, so let’s see if we can shed some light on what they … Continue reading

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Customize QuickBooks’ Reports, Make Better Business Decisions

QuickBooks simplifies and speeds up your daily accounting work, but you’re missing out on valuable insight if you don’t tailor your report data. Do you remember why you started using QuickBooks? You may have simply wanted to produce sales forms … Continue reading

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Innocent Spouse Relief: What You Need to Know

Innocent Spouse Relief: What You Need to Know You dream of meeting someone special to spend your life with. Then you meet the perfect person. You get married and start planning a life together. Then things go south. Maybe your … Continue reading

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Is There an App for That?

The technology side of the accounting industry is rapidly changing and expanding.  Literally hundreds, if not thousands of new companies and new software applications have sprung up to help small businesses automate their processes and save time and money.   … Continue reading

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Customize QuickBooks’ Reports, Make Better Business Decisions

QuickBooks simplifies and speeds up your daily accounting work, but you’re missing out on valuable insight if you don’t tailor your report data. Do you remember why you started using QuickBooks? You may have simply wanted to produce sales forms … Continue reading

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Shortcut Your Management Time with Exception Reporting

  Do you spend a lot of time reviewing stacks of reports each month so you can get the information you need to make decisions?  Do you find out after the fact that something went wrong in your business and … Continue reading

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Accelerate Receivables Using QuickBooks Online

Keeping a positive cash flow is always a struggle for many businesses. Here’s how you can get customers to pay faster. In a perfect world, customers would receive their invoices from you and remit them immediately. You may have a … Continue reading

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Natural Disaster Can Affect Your Taxes: Here’s How

Welcome to hurricane season! Hurricanes can cause quite a bit of damage not only to vacation homes, but also to the primary residences of people who live in areas affected by hurricanes. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused more than $125 … Continue reading

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A Tour through QuickBooks’ Payroll Setup Tool

Getting QuickBooks ready to process payroll is a complex, time-consuming process. Here’s what you can expect. Payday. You look forward to it when you’re young and working at your first part-time job. But as a grown-up who needs to start … Continue reading

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Six Common Payroll Mistakes to Avoid

Getting payroll done has gotten so much easier than it used to be for small business owners.  But there are still some minefields when it comes to state and federal compliance.  We’ll take a look at six of them in … Continue reading

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Summertime Strategies for Your Business

Summer is a great time of year for most businesses to pause for just a little while to take stock, congratulate yourself on what you’ve accomplished so far this year, and make big plans for your future.  Here are five … Continue reading

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Is it a Business or a Hobby? 9 Questions to Ask

The IRS takes the distinction very seriously. Many small businesses start out as casual pastimes. You help troubleshoot your friends’ computer problems in your spare time, and they start telling their friends and business contacts about you. Or you use … Continue reading

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Make a Statement in QuickBooks Online

You’re not required to use statements in QuickBooks, but they help bring unpaid amounts to the attention of your customers. Collecting outstanding payments is probably one of your least favorite tasks as an accounting manager. QuickBooks Online helps you keep … Continue reading

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Does Your Small Business Need a CRM?

  Have you ever stayed at a hotel and then returned, finding that they have stocked your room with everything you asked for the last time you were here?  Your special allergenic pillow was already waiting for you, you were … Continue reading

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5 Ways You Can Use QuickBooks’ Income Tracker

The Income Tracker is one of QuickBooks’ more innovative features. If you’re not using it, you should be. One of the reasons that QuickBooks appeals to millions of small businesses is because it offers multiple ways to complete the same … Continue reading

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Oops: Do You Owe Sales Tax and Not Realize You Do?

One of the side effects of our last economic slowdown was in state government budgets; states searched hard for new income, and many of them found a great source by cracking down on sales tax collections.  Their new hot buzzword:  … Continue reading

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8 QuickBooks Reports That You Should Be Running Regularly

QuickBooks provides dozens of customizable report templates. You know when you need some of them, but which are musts? You send invoices because you sold products and/or services. Purchase orders go out when you’re running low on inventory, and there … Continue reading

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Seven Profit-Boosting Entrepreneurial Habits

As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for shaping your business success.  Any habits that sabotage your success in your personal life can often carry over to your business.  Becoming aware of these is the first step to success. Here are … Continue reading

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QuickBooks Online Goes on the Road

If you do business outside of your office walls, you need remote access to QuickBooks Online. You can have it. One of QuickBooks Online’s most compelling benefits is its portability. While its desktop counterparts remain chained to your desktop PC … Continue reading

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Age Has Its Privileges: Income Tax Issues for Seniors

The majority of tax laws apply regardless of age, but some are different if you’re 65 or older. By the time you turn 65, you’ve probably already started enjoying some benefits reserved for senior citizens. Restaurants, exclusive living communities, entertainment … Continue reading

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Five Essential Components of an Entrepreneur’s Compensation

The two major ways entrepreneurs can take money from their business is through draws or by receiving a paycheck.  The type of entity in which their business is set up will determine which method can be used. In either case, … Continue reading

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Receiving Payments in QuickBooks Online

It’s probably your favorite activity in QuickBooks Online: recording payments from customers. Here are the options. QuickBooks Online was designed to make your workflow fast, intuitive and easy. This is especially true of the interface upgrade that some of you … Continue reading

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Do You Need to Use QuickBooks’ Fixed Asset Tools? The Basics

Managing your company’s fixed assets is a complicated process, one that will require some extra assistance. Much of the work you do in QuickBooks is short-term. You send an invoice and it gets paid. Your purchase order is fulfilled, and … Continue reading

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Is It Time for Spring Cleaning Your Business Files?

Is It Time for Spring Cleaning Your Business Files?  How much time do you spend each day looking for information about orders, customers, vendors, or employees?  If it’s a lot, a little spring cleaning might pay off.  Here are five … Continue reading

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Haven’t Filed 2013 Taxes Yet? 5 Tips

You had good intentions, but you just couldn’t pull it together in time. Here are some suggestions for dealing with delinquent taxes. One of the problems with waiting until the last minute to prepare and file income taxes is that … Continue reading

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Do You Need to Use QuickBooks’ Fixed Asset Tools? The Basics

Managing your company’s fixed assets is a complicated process, one that will require some extra assistance. Much of the work you do in QuickBooks is short-term. You send an invoice and it gets paid. Your purchase order is fulfilled, and … Continue reading

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Nine Tips to Dazzle and Retain Your Top Customers

Nine Tips to Dazzle and Retain Your Top Customers Your top customers are your most important customers in your business, and it’s important that you hang onto them if at all possible.  It’s much more cost-effective in most business models … Continue reading

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Critical Company Settings in QuickBooks Online Plus: Part 2

We’ll finish what we started last month: a walk through some of your most important Company Settings in QuickBooks Online Plus. As we said last month, QuickBooks Online is designed to work for a tremendously wide variety of business types. … Continue reading

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Spring-Clean Your QuickBooks Company File

There are a lot of clues that indicate trouble with your QuickBooks company file. Is it time for a check-up and tune-up? After this ridiculously long winter, you’ll probably hear few complaints about things like puddles in the street, summer … Continue reading

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Do You Know Your Weakest Business Link?

Do You Know Your Weakest Business Link?  You’ve already built a solid business that you have great pride in.  Yet, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re on a constant search for how to make your business better.   One way to … Continue reading

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Hiring Your First Employee? 5 Tax-Related Steps

Be prepared for a mountain of paperwork, much of it related to income taxes. Adding your first employee to your small business comes with good and bad news. The good, of course, is that you’re succeeding so well that you … Continue reading

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Five Browser Productivity Tips

Most of us spend a lot of time browsing the Internet, and that means using browser software.  Google Chrome is the most popular browser with roughly 40 percent market share.  Internet Explorer follows with about a 30 percent share and … Continue reading

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How Painless is Your New Customer Experience?

Is your business easy to do business with?  Or is it difficult?   The answer could impact your revenue as well as your reputation for service.  Here are a few tips to help you stand in your customer’s shoes for just … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Accelerate Your Receivables in QuickBooks

Increasing your income is good. But even if you can’t, you can still take steps to collect the money you’re already owed faster. Here are five. If you asked five small business owners to name the top three roadblocks they … Continue reading

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Critical Company Settings in QuickBooks Online Plus: Part 1

If you’ve started using QuickBooks Online Plus and think something is missing, check your Company Settings. New users should do this first. QuickBooks solutions are built to appeal to a wide variety of small businesses. But they’re also very customizable, … Continue reading

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7 Facts About Income Tax Extensions

Not sure you’ll be prepared to file and pay your total taxes due by April 15? Here’s what you need to know about filing an extension. Sometimes, things beyond your control keep you from making that April 15 income tax … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Go Green with Your Accounting

With St. Patrick’s Day and spring arriving, March is a great month to have “green” in your mind.  There are green shamrocks, green beer, the green of new vegetation, and there’s even green accounting, too.  Here are five ways to … Continue reading

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How to Avoid Seasonal Bumps in Your Cash Flow

Many businesses operate with seasonal peaks and valleys.  Retail stores just completed their busy holiday season.  Construction contractors are busy when the weather is good.   Accountants are very busy from January through April, but also experience a quarterly peak in … Continue reading

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Giving Away Money? Know the Tax Laws

Feeling generous? Want to give a gift of cash or something equivalent to a family member or friend? You should understand the tax implications. There are numerous reasons why you might want to give a gift to someone you know. … Continue reading

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Indispensable Information – QuickBooks Online Reports

The smartest business decisions result from customizing and creating frequent reports in QuickBooks Online. Day after day, you build your company file in QuickBooks Online. You create invoices and purchase orders. Record payments and complete contact and item records. Process … Continue reading

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