accounting-advisory-services

Accounting Advisory Services and What That Means For Small Business Owners?

Accounting Advisory Services

It’s not uncommon that many small business owners who have their books managed by an accountant, see accounting and bookkeeping more as an expense rather than an investment. The reason for that, is most accounting and bookkeeping services who support small businesses are offering their services only to meet compliance.  Accountants who offer advisory services go beyond just crunching the numbers, as they are interpreting information using their skills and know-how to find ways to save you money, and looking for growth opportunities on your behalf. In addition, advisors can also help you with the loan process, review contracts and documents, as well as support you with asset management and succession planning.

Over the past several years, improvements in software tools has allowed small business owners, and savvy entrepreneurs to capitalize on accounting advisory services, because not only has the data improved due to software advancement, but the cost of planning and implementing advisory services has also been reduced, allowing advisors to cost effectively support small business owners in a way that was not easily accessible before.

If you are a small business owner and are using an accountant and/or bookkeeper to manage your books and are not receiving accounting advisory services as an added value offering, you are definitely missing out on the opportunities that are available to you.

In fact, many small business owners are still making the transition to online, that would allow them to take advantage of what accounting advisory services has to offer. However, If you have made the transition and have your books managed online either on your own, or with the support of a service provider, here are some tips when considering pursuing your options for accounting advisory services.

 

Authority
Look for accountants who speak about accounting advisory services with authority. When you pose the specific question, “Do you offer accounting advisory services for small business owners?” the answer should make you feel that this person has authority on the subject, which comes from the experience of having performed performance based analysis for many small business owners.

Experience
Over the past several years, an influx of virtual accounting and bookkeeping service companies have surfaced online that are now offering accounting advisory services. The way to confirm for yourself, if it’s a right fit for you is to ask about their experiences working for small businesses that align with your requirements. Look for experience in similarities to your business and not just experience in itself.

Communication Skills
The kind of communication skills we are referring to here is not only accountants who speak well, but accountants who communicate information and insights to you with clarity. If they are not speaking your language, then it will be very difficult to have an on-going relationship with someone who ultimately becomes your trusted confident. Make certain that you can understand the advice you are receiving is clear and concise.

Time management
To make accounting advisory services work for small business owners, accountants must take into consideration the value of the information vs the cost to the client. As mentioned, with the improvements in software, accountants are now able to streamline many of their best practices that allows you to receive regular advice at a cost that makes sense for a small business. Look for advisors who provide their services on a recurring basis rather than just project based.

Summary
With advancements in accounting software and a transition to using online tools, small business owners are in a position to capitalize on accounting advisory services now more than ever. However, it is important that if you are in a position to explore your options, that you find the right fit for you and your business, these four primary factors will help to get you started.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988


cyber-attacks

How To Protect Your Passwords From Cyber Attacks

Cyber Attacks Can Be Avoided By Not Reusing Passwords

Last week, the CRA announced they had a series of cyber attacks that comprised usernames and passwords of thousands of accounts. This was a result of “credential stuffing” where the affected accounts login and password were retrieved from another website. So how can we prevent this from happening to ourselves? It’s simple, stop reusing passwords

Now I know what you are thinking, everything these days requires a login and having to remember dozens of passwords is not practical. But there is a simple solution to help with this – use a password management service.

Between SRT Accounting and our partner platforms (Accountants 2.0 and Covid Tax Triage), our accountants and bookeepers, along with the entire staff have to rely on dozens of passwords, that is why we use a password management service that stores website credentials in an encrypted vault. Here you can store all your username and passwords safely and you only have to remember ONE password. You can easily access your passwords using your browser or through their mobile app. There are many other options available for password management services, some that also include a free tier such as Bitwarden, LastPass or Keeper. Mcafee is even going further to develop security for businesses that are moving more towards cloud based applications. Whether you’re using it for personal use or business purposes, you can compare each to see which would work best for your needs.

Once your password manager is set up, I recommend you change the passwords to all your accounts as you add them – there is a chance your existing login credentials have already been compromised so an attack could be on the horizon. Each account should have a unique password with AT LEAST 8 characters and it should have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. Since you are not memorizing these passwords, you don’t have to make them easy to remember. Many password management services include a random password generator that can be used to help create unique and secure passwords for all your accounts.

Taking these simple steps can save you from costly headaches later. Next time you go to create a new account online, make sure it’s for a password management service.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988


messy-books-in-accounting-trap

How To Avoid The Messy Books In Accounting Trap

Within the accounting and bookkeeping industry there are two primary traits that seem to be common among all accountants and bookkeepers. That is, attention to detail, and a love for numbers. Those traits seem to be the driving force behind the motivation to do such exciting work, in an otherwise very mundane and boring industry. Perhaps, this is why you see so many entrepreneurs fall into the “messy books in accounting” trap. To avoid such a trap, here are a few interesting traits that accounting professionals possess to ensure their work is perfect.

 

They Emphasize Accuracy Through Effectiveness

You can distort numbers in any way you like, but the fact of the matter is numbers do not lie. The same rings true for the professionals who hold their work and processes to that highest regard. To eliminate margins of error, professionals create frameworks that give them 100% control over monitoring issues, when and if they arise.

“One of the biggest problems facing entrepreneurs today is the inability to transition to online accounting and bookkeeping tools with support from virtual accountants and bookkeepers trained at using these tools and who understand the integrations necessary to build a solid framework.

 

They use deductive reasoning as their primary logic
Defined: Deductive reasoning is a logical process in which a conclusion is based in accordance with multiple premises that are generally assumed to be true. It’s a top top-down logic, and proceeds from general premises to a specific conclusion. There is no room for theory, once you’ve identified one issue, then that is an issue in itself.

For example, “If receipts are missing, and all receipts are needed to be 100% accurate, your books are not accurate. If your books are not accurate, then the procedure to process receipts is flawed.”

 

They are accountable (pun intended )
As it’s been said, numbers do not lie, and if you do not know what you’re looking for they will deceive you. When money is on the line and there is no room for error, it’s accountants and bookkeepers who take on all the responsibility to make certain that perfection is the only option and the only way that happens is being fully accountable for managing the risk and integrations involved. When you have a professional who believes in perfection, is honest about it and takes full responsibility if something goes wrong under their control. You have yourself a trustworthy accounting professional who is honest.

“The honor among bookkeepers and accountants is knowing they fully accept the responsibility of perfection, as the numbers require them to be.”

 

When you have a solid framework in place, think like Sherlock Holmes and take full responsibility for perfection, you too can avoid the “messy books in accounting” trap.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988


clean-up-accounting-books

Start The Clean Up Your Books Process By Finding The Root Cause

Do-It-Yourself accounting practices is nothing new to entrepreneurs. Monitoring the health of your business should always be a top priority. But sometimes when you are so busy running your business, there is a tendency to fall behind on the books, which will inevitably lead towards having to initiate the “clean up your books” process. There is nothing wrong with doing your own books, but in reality the more your business grows, the frequency and complexity of doing your own books grows with it, and this will cause irregularities in importing data, leading again towards inaccurate financials.

When you are not trained in the principles of accounting and you begin to fall behind on keeping track of your books, costly mistakes will arise, which can begin a process of what we call, “messy books” and when that begins to happen, getting a real understanding of your financial condition will definitely be skewed. However, with the right kind of process in place, not only can you get your books back on track, but you will also begin to develop a process that will sustain your business activities so you never fall behind again.

First, determine where the root cause of the problem is and what may be causing your messy books. However, keep in mind the issues that arise, may in fact not be the root cause of the problem. A financial repair specialist is trained in taking a deductive reasoning approach to financial repair projects. So if you find yourself frustrated and unable to find the root cause or not sure of what to do, a financial repair specialist is a great place to start.

It is very important that even if you don’t know what the root cause of the problem is, or not even sure there is a problem, the fact of not knowing is a problem in itself and taking back control is key and will save you time and money and avoid situations such as audits, banking penalties, and overall eliminating the restrictions on growing your business. Here are some basic red flags to look out for:

Bank cards and bank statements are not reconciled.
Tax returns do not match retained earnings.
Lease payments are not properly capitalized.
There are issues in your fixed asset recordings.
Falling behind on financial obligations.
Overpaying interest due to mismanagement.
Your assets and liabilities have a negative standing.

Now that you have identified without a doubt that you have one or more issues causing discrepancies in your financials. A plan of action is required to covering one important question that must be answered immediately to ensure that accounting best practices are in place moving forward

Once your books are fixed, where do you go from there?
Today there are so many accounting tools, that the selection process alone may be overwhelming, especially when you are faced with not only cleaning up your books, but it is very important that you have a solid system in place that works for your business, or else you will find yourself in position with messy books once again. Time and effort is required, but an online bookkeeping and accounting service provider will definitely help in determine the best tools that work for your requirements.

The clean up your books process is not easy, especially when you are gathering the data and then filtering the data that begins the reconciliation process. But once the clean-up process has taken full affect, the regularity of keeping financials and reconciling them will allow you to make informed decisions as you will now have accurate books to make performance based decisions.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988


online-bookkeeping-services-last-piece-to-the-puzzle

Why Do You Need an Online Bookkeeping Services Company?

In its basic definition, an online bookkeeping services company helps you manage the creation, gathering, processing and storing of financial transactions. The key element here is that the storage of all the information happens to be online using source documents and reliable accounting and bookkeeping tools and applications ensuring the accuracy of all reconciled accounts.

The primary reasons why online bookkeeping services is crucial, is it meets government compliance standards, but more importantly, it provides accurate data for performance based analysis which is crucial for bookkeepers and accountants in order for them to provide clients with advice on areas of improvement.

 

Using an online bookkeeping services company is not only about saving you time, it’s more about improving your business
When you are focused on your customers and growing your business, there is a tendency to fall behind on keeping your books up-to-date, and when that happens, it not only becomes difficult to get things back on track, but it also becomes a daunting task as well. Hiring an online bookkeeping services company is a great idea and it’s an essential part of doing business that saves you time, allows you to continue to focus on your customers and knowing you are running your business with the full support of an experienced online bookkeeping service provider.

 

Here are four primary thins to consider:

1. They are passionate about numbers
With the growing number of small businesses who are shifting gears and moving towards online bookkeeping services, the main reason many are finding success utilizing a virtual bookkeeper is because all the data is stored digitally which allows bookkeepers to streamline the data for performance based analysis. In order to do that, they must be thorough and make certain that nothing falls between the cracks. Numbers are an obsession to them, its what they love to do.

2. They can be trusted
As easy as that might sound, we all know that trust is something that is earned. In most cases, getting a referral is a good idea, but only if the person who is referring you aligns with your business requirements and not basing their referral on their own needs that are being satisfied. Instead, make a list of online bookkeeping service providers and contact them directly, ask specific questions. The more specific, the more you will be able to see if you can trust them based on their answers that are important to you.

3. They are well informed
Just like any other professional who is dedicated to their industry, bookkeepers and accountants are always up-to-date on new procedures in the accounting industry. Giving your business the opportunity to always initiate the latest in best practices.

4. They are tech savvy
A new generation of bookkeepers and accountants who work within the industry for their clients are well versed in using the latest in accounting and bookkeeping software options. With so many new tools and applications available, it can be overwhelming to on your own to choose what software is best for you. Turning to an online bookkeeping service provider will eliminate the learning curve and align your needs with the tools they know will work best for you.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988


online-bookkeeping-services-bookkeepers

Bookkeeping services that are conducted online, assign virtual bookkeepers to consistently keep your business activities up-to-date. If all your efforts are focused on your customers, an online bookkeeping service provider is focused on your day to day business financial transaction activities.

A virtual bookkeeper is in constant motion of gathering, inputting and analyzing every transaction that goes into the accounting and bookkeeping software, and ultimately giving your business the opportunity to improve from the accuracy of the data through performance based analysis conducted by a qualified accountant.

Bookkeeping services is more than just inputting data, it takes a thorough minded person who has the know-how and in essence is the front line person who satisfies government compliance standards for you. Things that an online bookkeeper provides include:

Accounting Ledger
Assist with Depreciation calculations
Automatic Invoicing
Balance Sheet
Bookkeeping basics
Calculate Depreciation
Cash Flow Statements
Chart of Accounts
Closing the Books
Collect and remit sales tax to the government
Collection Activities
Create Journal Entries
Customized Reports
Financial Statements
Fixed Assets
Government Remittance
Handle bank reconciliations every month
Income statement
Issue Billings
Maintain your annual budget
Maintain inventory records
Manage accounts receivable and accounts payable
Monitor Debt Levels
Month-End adjustments
Payable Processing
Payroll Activities & Taxes
Payroll Management
Process Cash Receipts
Provide online accountants with accurate financial statements come tax time
Record incoming cash and deposit at the bank
Report on issues discovered
Statement of changes in equity

In the end of the day, virtual bookkeepers protect your business from financial mistakes, giving you an audit resistant business that is backed up with detailed documentation. But the real value comes from having a stress-free process that gives you the assurances that you can rely on your virtual bookkeeper to relay the key metrics back to you that will help you make informed decisions.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988

online-bookkeeping-services-essentials

Is it time to hire an online bookkeeping services company?

Online bookkeeping services requires you to hand over your books to a total stranger, and that’s not always an easy thing to do. Here are a four signs that it may be time to outsource your finances to an online bookkeeping service provider.

When you can’t keep track of receivables and payables

There’s a certain frustration when there are unknowns of who owes you money and money you owe. It creates a ripple effect that delays payments from both sides and inevitably cost you money from lost payments or additional costs from invoices not being paid on time. Online bookkeepers know that tracking your accounts payable and accounts receivable is the lifeline of your business. Online bookkeeping streamlines how cash flow statements are processed and it provides an added value of knowing exactly how much money is flowing in and out of your business, in real time, and at all times.

 

When you have outdated books

If you find yourself with a stack of disorganized financial papers, more than likely it’s not your fault. That’s because most of the time your books are not up-to-date because of lack of time and not effort. Instead spend some time to research online bookkeeping service providers who can not only clean up the mess, but get you back on track quickly. If you don’t have a grip on your finances, your business is surely to lose money, if it hasn’t already. The health of your business is important, and keeping consistent books will assure the longevity of your business activities.

 

Taking a “just in time” approach to taxes

Can you remember a time when you scrambled hours before an exam because you tried to cram as much information as possible the night before? More than likely, this resulted in poor test scores. The same thing happens to many entrepreneurs when scrambling to put all the pieces together before tax time. But in this case, the results are in lost savings. Consider that many online bookkeeping service providers offer tax strategies as part of their service portfolios. When your taxes are handled in a methodical way and given enough time and energy, there is certainly opportunities to find savings.

 

You have a sense that you are losing control

The best way to control a situation is to know as much about it as possible. Bookkeeping can be a daunting and somewhat boring task for many, so the best way to control the situation is to do what you do best, and allow the online bookkeepers and online accountants to do what they do best. Handing over control to your books, actually gives you more control over your business, and that is because they help you see your business activities honestly and clearly.

 

Summary

Taking care of your own books may work for the time being, but the do-it-yourself approach will not serve your business in the long run. Your focus should be on your customers and running your business. Online bookkeeping service providers are familiar to your situation. Falling behind on paperwork is nothing new, but at the same time when you recognize that you cannot do everything yourself, outsourcing to an online bookkeeping services provider is your best option.

Not interested in filling out forms. No problem. You can contact directly by email info@srtaccounting.com or by phone 1-888-634-4988