Tag Archives: Louisville

Facing the Giant

Facing The Giant – Bookkeeping

You’re an entrepreneur looking to expand your business and turn your passion into your livelihood, and ideally profit. Delegating and outsourcing are probably keywords in your vocabulary, giving you more time for the big adventure of delivering stellar customer satisfaction.

Surprisingly, some entrepreneurs still neglect the accounting, intentionally or not, risking the very life of the business. Some reasons we have heard are:

  1. Lack of organization or plan
  2. Lack of financial understanding
  3. Lack of time
  4. Lack of funds or believe they cannot afford
  5. Lack of trust sharing financial information

Fortunately, there are easy answers to all these reasons. Every entrepreneur who is thinking about, or who is a new or existing business owner has resources in their local area to tackle reasons 1 and 2 above:

For those who may align with reasons 3 and 4, the key lies in setting your up your books correctly from the start, a professional bookkeeper can do it in about an hour. Software/banking automation is the second key to eliminating the time excuse.

As to affordability, if the business has completed the setup and automation, you may only need a professional monthly review of 1-3 hours on average, based on the volume and complexity of your business. If you prefer a professional do the bookkeeping, and the books have been set up as above, 20-25 hours a month may be just fine. Alternatively, a hybrid situation where you split the duties with a professional, could save you money as well.

Finally, we understand that sharing financial information is personal, not to be taken lightly. Make a list of what is important to you, such as communication, accessibility, skill,  insurance, and, is there an Engagement/Non-Disclosure Agreement.  Interview several professionals in order to find the best match.

MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions, LLC, is ready to help you face the Giant and create your clear economic path. We look forward to an interview with You.  Contact Us Today.

Get Acquainted: The 2018 IRS Withholding Calculator Has Launched

Are you feeling anxious about how the recent Tax Reform will affect your finances?  Did you know that there are several helpful tools at the IRS.gov website to help you navigate the questions about your particular tax situation? Ease the stress and check out the easy to use  Interactive Tax Assistant for topics including Claiming Dependents, Your  Filing Status, Pensions and IRAs, Credit Eligibility and more.

The latest, the  2018 Withholding Calculator has just been launched. Some key changes included are:

2018 Standard Deductions (Personal Exemptions Eliminated):

  • Single or Married Filed Separately- $12,000
  • Married Filing Jointly- $24,000
  • Head of Household- $18,000
  • Over 65 or Blind, add $1300 per person

2018 State and Local Taxes– The itemized deduction is limited to $10,000 for both income and property taxes paid during the year

2018 Misc Deductions– Gone , including unreimbursed Employee expenses and tax prep and investment fees

2018 Child Tax Credit– $2000 per child to age 17; $500 available for other Dependents

One final tip, be sure to review my blog on reviewing withholding. If you have any questions, or need assisting with organizing your business or personal books, Call or Email MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions, LLC  for a clearer economic path.

 

Keeping The Edge

As with any game in sports, it’s rare that a good offense wins without a good defense to back it up. Your finances are no different.

So how often should You analyze your “game” to determine any weaknesses and reposition resources as necessary? Once a month is the best practice, subject to the unexpected, a flag that could put Your income at risk and elevate expenses.

Having an “A” game in place is good, and having a plan “B” is also recommended for reasons noted above. Here are a few tactics on how to fortify Your game plan:

  • Are there other possible revenue streams You could implement
  • Ideally you already have and are using a budget, and make sure You include Owner Draws in the budget
  • Document all cash purchases to capture any deductible personal or business expenses
  • Save consistently for rainy day and/or the emergency funds
  • Be as debt free as possible, pay off credit cards regularly if possible
  • Rotating credit cards and paying them off affects credit scores in a positive way

Accountancy is all about the numbers, achieving offensive/defensive balance, and being able to quickly adjust to change.

MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions will work the sidelines to assist You in creating a clearer economic path, so that You can spend your effort and time on what is important.  Call, Email, or Make an appointment for Your No Obligation Consultation Today.

Classifying transactions

Pinpointing Your Niche: Classes…QuickBooks Style

September has arrived and many are sharpening pencils as well as skills. If you are managing multiple revenue streams and looking for a good way to assess what is working  and what is not, grab your favorite note taking device and explore the ABC’s of “Classes”, and how it might provide you a clearer economic path.

Maybe you need to track product and service lines in detail. QuickBooks Classes differentiate transactions by departments, locations, product line, service type or other defining category relevant to your business or personal finance preference. QuickBooks keeps it easy and clean using the same chart of accounts across all Classes. Run a report and you will quickly see the line of business metrics.

When setting up Class Tracking think about

  • How do you want to see your business segmented on your financial reports? Classes will capture not only income and expense, but also assets, liabilities, and equity transactions.
  • Be consistent in how you enter class information on registers to be sure that your financial reports are accurate.
  • Need additional specifics? Set up “Sub-Classes” under the main Class.

Once you have mapped out your system you will have the ability to analyze your business finances from different perspectives…using built in reports “by class”.

When you might use Classes

  • A business with two or more locations – like a grocery store – could use to analyze the profitability of each location.
  • A contracting business with both maintenance and installation services may want to track the return on investment of each service separately. Or, perhaps need to track by a single family, commercial, or renovate and sell investment property.
  • A Non-Profit will track income and expenses by grant, event or project.
  • A Property Management Company might track by tenant within a single location, or for each property location.
  • A service business may be interested in tracking the location of current clients, in order to increase marketing in an untapped area.

You want to know if you are getting paid for your hard work – where, how much and when your money is coming and going, and most importantly what’s left for you.  Class tracking is a great tool to do this.

If you have questions about classes or other accounting questions, please contact me or make an appointment now, to ensure that you are focusing your hard work, passion and commitment for creating value in the right direction.

Your Art is Your Business: Making Time for the Business to Keep Making Art

There are three things that work against artists making a living from making and selling their work: the (seemingly) fickle nature of people’s taste, the fickleness of the market, and (sometimes) the artists themselves.

Movies and television have fed us that trope for years: the temperamental artisté who isn’t good at “real life.” The writer who won’t use a computer. The painter who hates cell phones. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with liking typewriters or hating cell phones. But if you are counting on being discovered, lauded for your eccentricities, and left alone to create while other people handle your money for you, you might be waiting a really long time.

If you’re not interested in making a living with your art, that’s one thing. You working a day job and you make the time to create. But if you want to make a living with your art, you can’t afford embrace that faux artistic temperament and ignore the practicalities of running a business.

If you’re going to make a business of making art, you need to be able to approach it, in part, as a business. It helps to start doing that from the very beginning. That means creating a workable business plan.

What you need to know about creating a business plan

The Mission and Vision Statements

Every business plan, and every business, begins with mission and vision statements. Naturally you know why you’re an artist. You understand the drive it requires. But there’s something about putting it down in writing, codifying and clarifying it so that as you move forward, they are more than words on a screen. They are the foundation of your future success.

Goals

Yes, you want to create art and sell it. That’s the larger goal. Establishing some benchmark goals, however, will help you plan the steps you need to take in order to make that a reality. Where do you want to be in three months? Six months? Nine months? A year? You want your goals to be ambitious, but they should also be reasonable. You want to be able to march forward, but you also want to make sure that your goals aren’t so abstract that you grind to a halt when you hit a stumbling block. (And you will.)

Identify your customer

No, it’s not about making art to satisfy a customer. It’s about focusing your marketing and social media strategies to create the best possible outcome. The thing about being an artist is that while it may sometimes feel like no one notices what you do, it’s important to remember that there is an audience – and a customer – for everything. The hard part is knowing how to focus your marketing so that you’re working smarter, not harder.

 

That’s really the entire trick to giving the business enough time so that you can keep making art. Work smarter, not harder. It means more than just being comfortable wearing multiple hats and working on multiple levels. It means that, on some level, you thrive on it.

Starting and running your own business is always a risk, regardless of the kind of business it is. Turning your art into your business is a unique kind of risk, though, because you’re risking more than just the very important tangibles of time and money. You are also risking that intangible part of you that drives your art and makes you who you are.  The bravery required to put your passion on the line is necessary. But you need to protect that passion as much as you can.

However, if you forged ahead without a business plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t sit down and write one out. There’s never a wrong time to sit down and rethink how you’re doing things, and creating a business plan is a good way to re-evaluate and reorganize your business so you can focus on your art. There’s plenty of information out there to help you, too. Remember, part of working smarter, not harder means making use of available resources. Check out the Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Development Center, and SCORE a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses in your state.

Spring Cleaning For Your Finances

OK, now breathe! That’s it, take a deep breath in and slowly release it… tax day is over, spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. LIFE IS GOOD!

That is until you take a good look at the mess around your computer… the strewn trash piles along with the old financial records and leftover coffee cups and who knows how long that box of chow mein noodles has been siting there… right?!

But remember, it’s SPRING and what better time than to get started on a bit of spring cleaning? I’m not just talking about cleaning up from your deadline with the IRS or cleaning out the closets and under your bed, I’m talking about your financial spring cleaning.

Listed below are suggestions for cleaning up your finances:

  • Check Your Credit Score – Is there any incorrect or misleading information about you that could hurt your score? What can you do to improve your score?
  • Organize and/or Shred Old Financial Documents – Clean up your files and shred any old or no longer needed information.
  • Re-balance and Diversify Your Investment and Retirement Accounts – How are your investments doing? Are you on tract with your retirement goals?
  • Review Your Insurance Coverage – has there been any life event changes? Do you need any additional coverage or is any coverage obsolete?
  • Review Your Expenses and shop for better rates – Can you pay less if you switching to a different company? Are you using what you paid for like that gym membership?
  • Set up Automatic Bill Pay – Late fees undermine your financial goals, therefore put regular payments on automatic bill pay so this doesn’t happen.
  • Save without Thinking – How is your emergency fund? Are you saving enough each month?
  • Revisit Your Budget – Once you have reviewed your finances ensure that the new numbers are worked into your budget.
  • Record Your Financial Passwords and Store Records in a Safe Place – Or better yet, use a trusted online password storage system and be sure to use a different password for each of your financial sites changing the password on a quarterly bases.

Knowing where you stand with your finances will better enable you to make wise and prudent money choices.  If you need some help getting started, Contact MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions, or Make an Appointment for a 1-Hour no Obligation Consultation.

Cash or Accrual – What’s the Difference?

The Cash method is like a checkbook. You record the income when you receive it, and record the expense when you write the check. It is easy to maintain, and good way to start for new businesses figuring out where they are going. It does not include the Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable so may misrepresent your true income and expenses. As your business becomes more complex, you may decide you need the detail of Accrual accounting.

The Accrual method records the income when the sale is made, whether you have been paid or not, and records the expense when incurred, even though it has not been paid. It is a more intricate system to learn, however, more accurately tracks your finances. Preferred by Accountants and CPA’s for management purposes.

If you have questions about which is best for you, Contact MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions now.

Find hidden profits

  1. Review Balance Sheet and Income Statements (P &) at least quarterly if not more.
  2. Reconcile Bank accounts monthly.
  3. Bank at more than one financial institution to develop a relationship that may help you when you need a loan.
  4. Hire a Bookkeeper to help you part time so you can focus on growing your business.

MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions assists businesses and individuals with their accounting needs. Services include but are not limited to installation, setting up chart of accounts, training, and troubleshooting problems. We understand the challenges of owning a business, and are ready to connect you to the answer for all your business questions.

Contact us at 805-764-1MJB or 502-309-9MJB,  follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook.

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime…”Basics of Bookkeeping

Every Business is unique, you need a bookkeeping system customized to your business operation.

Two Considerations for creating your basic bookkeeping system:

  1. Types of transactions the business enters into and how information about those transactions can be captured:  Income, Expense, Asset, Loan or Credit Card Liability, etc.  Will you manually enter the data, or download from the Bank?
  2. Type of financial information the business needs to efficiently manage its operations: In addition to tracking Income and Expenses, do you need to track inventory, valuation and profitability;  income and expense across multiple locations; or Employee costs?

The Chart of Accounts (COA), is the heart of every Company file. The COA should include:

Accounts to capture Income, Assets, Expenses, Liabilities, and Equity specific to your business, and be flexible enough to allow for future growth. Every transaction you enter is allocated to the appropriate COA account.

On a regular basis, you, your Bookkeeper, or Accounting Professional should run at least these (3) financial reports to make sure your Company is healthy and on track:

  1. **Profit and Loss or Income Statement- Summarizes your income and expenses for a period of time, so you can tell whether you’re operating at a profit or a loss, and where you might trim spending
  2. Balance Sheet – Summarizes the financial position of a business as of a specific date – a “Snapshot” of your company. The value of the assets is always exactly equal to the combined value of the liabilities and equity.
  3. Statement of Cash Flow – This report shows how your cash position changed over a period of time. Shows cash earned from profit; Where you received additional cash; Where your cash was spent; How cash was provided or used in terms of Operating, Investing, and Financing Activities.

Seeking Funds for your Business?  Contact MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions for credible and tailored assistance.