Monday, July 25, 2016

5 Features in Xero that will Boost your Productivity



Blog post by Paul Bulpitt reposted with permission from Xero.

5 features in Xero that will boost your productivity

At The Wow Company, we’re always looking for ways to do things better, faster more efficiently and ever since jumped on the Xero bandwagon and hooked up bank feeds, we’ve never looked back. However, Xero is more than just beautiful accounting software with bank feeds, and some people have yet to take advantage of the most powerful features.

Here are my top five that saves us hours of processing time each month:

1. Uncoded Statement Lines

Uncoded Statement Lines is a recent innovation that makes it easier than ever to get feedback from clients or colleagues on unreconciled bank items. Simply click a button to download an editable PDF that you can share. Your client or colleague simply types in the PDF and sends it back to you. Providing a simple and effective feedback mechanism, saving time and increasing efficiency.

2. Cash Coding

Cash Coding put simply is the ability to code large numbers of transactions, fast. You sort the list of transactions, then code in bulk. Saving hours of processing time, this feature is especially useful for businesses with cash transactions or for working on accounts that haven’t been touched for a few months. Protip: if you use cash coding, make sure to learn the keyboard shortcuts.

3. Xero Mobile

The Xero mobile app enables businesses to raise invoices, record transactions and code bank transactions on the go. This makes it easy for businesses to raise sales invoices, record purchases (including taking photos of receipts) and doing the bank transaction coding, means that the accounts are updated much more frequently (mainly because it’s so much easier) and reducing the need for ‘binge’ bookkeeping, where you have to process months of transactions at once to catch-up.

4. Files

Xero Files lets you store contracts or other documents either in a general library or attached to a transaction. You can either upload documents or email in. For example, this may be your terms and conditions you want to attach to an online invoice or quote you are sending — or attaching a photo of a particular item to a transaction. Time spent hunting for documents or chasing for copies is eliminated as there is now a central repository for all of your important files.

5. Find & Recode

Find & Recode is a feature first announced at Xerocon 2015 to a standing ovation. Find & Recode enables you to change the coding of many transactions in a couple of clicks. When you consider the time saved correcting errors and reallocating transactions, you can see why this feature has been received so warmly.

What are your favorite features in Xero? How do you use Xero to boost your productivity?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Take Control of your Business Without Losing Sight of Yourself



Blog post by Larissa Macleman reposted with permission from Xero.

Take control of your business without losing sight of yourself

When you own a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day: from ensuring jobs get done, to checking employees and customers are happy. That’s before we even factor in our families, let alone ourselves.

But when we don’t take care of ourselves too, it can take a toll on the quality we operate at, affecting business productivity and ultimately profitability.

Here are some tips to take care of yourself and your business:

Give yourself a tech break

Technology addiction is impacting our productivity, our bodies and our well being. How often do you pick up your smartphone to have a quick look and find yourself mid-scroll half an hour later, having achieved nothing in the meantime? We’ve all been there.

Start by switching off your tech at night and make your bedroom a tech-free zone for a better night’s sleep. Schedule time for work without any distractions as well as time for ‘distractions’ like social engagement.

Home-Happiness-Hacks

If you’re a business owner and a parent, you’ll know these can be two of life’s most satisfying challenges. But doing both at the same time can leave you clinging to your sanity.

Technology can help by automating some of your business and home life activities. Invest in tools that are available to sync and organize your calendar and to-do lists. The prep time will be worth the hours it saves in the long-run.

Think about bringing in some extra help at home. I consider outsourcing an investment in my sanity and my marriage. This could mean employing a cleaner or paying a student to do your gardening, ironing, laundry or even picking up the kids.

Take time to reconnect with your vision

When productivity drops it’s usually when you’ve lost sight of your vision. Sometime we need to give ourselves some space and time to get back to our big-picture objectives and purpose. Is that the opposite of what you feel like you need to be doing? Then it’s probably exactly what you need to do. Take a break outside of your business to create some space and reconnect with your vision and where you’re heading.

Focus on what you love

Work doesn’t feel like work when you truly enjoy what you do. Delegate or outsource those things you procrastinate or know are not in your zone of genius — there’s no shame in not doing everything yourself. Spend your time doing what you love and do best. Some planning or reorganizing of your company roles can do wonders for productivity.

Building a customer-focused business takes hard work and personal investment. There will always be an abundance of tasks to keep your business running, and continual pressure, from yourself and from others. But the payoff for a business owner can be absolutely worth all those pressures if you make sure to take care of yourself along the way.

Find out more about how you can take control of your time and business with an integration between Timely and Xero here.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Property Management Bookkeeping: How to Easily Set Up Property Owners in QuickBooks Online



How to Easily Set Up Property Owners in QuickBooks Online

As a property management company, your main customer is the property owner. Your company provides the property owner with management services so that they can relax knowing that their properties are safe.

The property owner is also your main vendor. Once you have accounted for the income and expenses for a property, you send the net income to the property owner (if there is net income and after taking out your management fees, of course).

Here, we will look at how to set up the property owner in QuickBooks Online as both a Customer and a Vendor. We will also look at how to categorize the property owner in QuickBooks Online as a Class to make recording of income and expenses easier.

Property Owner as a Customer in QuickBooks Online

In QuickBooks Online, click Customers on the left hand toolbar. Click the New Customer button in the top right corner of the Customers page and enter in the property owner information. Notice how you can select the Print Check As radio button to select the property owner’s name on any printed checks or you can change it as you see fit.  Save the new customer information.

Property Owner as a Vendor in QuickBooks Online

Click the Vendors tab on the left hand toolbar and then the New Vendor button in the top right corner of the new page. Enter the property owner’s contact information. Remember, QuickBooks Online will not let a Customer and a Vendor have the same name. Add something to distinguish the two, like “John Doe – Owner.” Click Save.

Property Owner as a Class in QuickBooks Online

To create a Class for the property owner, you first have to set QuickBooks Online to track classes. Click the Gear icon next to your company name in the top right corner of the page. Select Accounts and Settings under the Your Company heading. When the new page opens, select the Advanced tab on the left hand tool bar. Click on the Categories row and check the Track Classes box. You are now ready to create new classes.

Return to the Gear icon and select All Lists under the Lists heading. On the new page, select Classes (this will not appear if you did not set QuickBooks Online to track classes). Click New button and enter the property owner’s name. Click Save.

Conclusion

Now that you have set up the property owner as a Customer, Vendor, and Class, you are ready to do business. You will be able to set expenses to the owner’s property and charge the owner as a Customer. As a Vendor, you can issue payments to the property owner once you have covered the expenses with rental income. Finally, you can track the income and expenses of each property using the property owner’s Class designation. This will make reporting for each owner and property very easy to understand.

Want some help with your property management bookkeeping using QuickBooks, contact Equitable Bookkeeping today for a free quote.

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Find Funding for Your Small Business


How to Find Funding for your Small Business

Having a good business idea does not guarantee entrepreneurial success. Knowing the expenses involved with starting a business lays the foundation for opening its doors. Finding ways to gain financing to assist you with covering those expenses gives your new business a fighting chance for survival. Here are some of the best places to find financing for your new business.

Family and Friends

The easiest form of lending to acquire comes from those closest to you. Presenting your new business idea to your family and friends has proven a great starting point for many aspiring entrepreneurs. With family and friends, having them as investors in your business can be tricky.

Due to their close relationship with you, they may feel the need to impart any advice they deem worthy. It is up to you to inform them of the investor relationship you expect from them if they provide you with financing for your new business. Establishing this early on will help alleviate any future questions concerning how active they should be as owners.


Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Angel investors and venture capitalists provide excellent funding opportunities for a viable start-up business. Angel investors and venture capitalists expect you to understand your business and show them how your business will make a profit. These investors may not have specific experience pertaining to your business, but they know how to value an investment.

They also want to maximize the return they receive on their investment. In their attempt to do this, they may require a large controlling interest in your new business in exchange for funding. Negotiate this point to ensure you keep control of your venture.


Banks and Credit Unions

Loans and lines of credit from a bank can help to get your business up and running. Banks also provide credit cards that can assist you with your new business start-up. When acquiring debt funding, be aware of the cost of the debt, or its interest rate. Your interest rate will be determined from your creditworthiness. 

Remember, debt secured with collateral will be less expensive than unsecured debt. Keep that in mind when deciding whether debt financing is right for your new business.


Conclusion

Funding is available to help you start and run your new business. Be prepared by knowing the competitive environment in which you will do business and showing the profitability of your venture gives you the best chance to receive financing.

No matter whether you are approaching a friend, a bank, or a professional investor, you want to put your best foot forward when presenting your case for your new business. Show them that the opportunity is viable and that it will provide them with a strong return on their investment.

Featured Post

How to Develop a Marketing Strategy for your Small Business

How to Develop a Marketing Strategy for your Small Business Starting a business means little unless you let the world know you exis...