So You Want to Work for Yourself?

9 out of 10 small business starting this year, will fail. The 10% that succeed, execute on a careful business plan. How do you know that you have that will succeed and what steps you can take to ensure you don’t become part of the 90% that fails?

Failing to plan is a good plan to fail. Many quit their job in the hopes that there are plenty of contracts or freelancing work. Even though it may look like that guy over there is making a ton of money, the truth may be something different. They may be successful but it does take years of connections, effort and work to reach a certain level. Let’s discuss what exactly is the secret ingredients for success that will avoid failures.

Failure to cut costs

You should be ready to ruthlessly cut costs in the initial years of your business. Being a business owner doesn’t mean that you need to buy everything. That is the wrong mindset.  If you can start your business from a small warehouse, you don’t need to lease huge commercial space in downtown. Lease or rent the equipment whenever possible instead of buying it (you could even take advantage of an equipment leasing calculator to assist you with that). If you are someone with the mindset that “I need to buy everything upfront so that I can focus on producing”, buy used hardware or equipment from Craigslist instead of brand new. I met a business owner in Canada who drove more than 150 miles to buy and pickup equipment’s from a USA based business who happened to be upgrading themselves and thus saved more than $12,000. These savings are of immense value when you are just starting out. If your business is successful, you will get plenty of opportunities to buy brand new stuff.

Cash Flow is important

When you are new and have little brand awareness, your prices may not be at the top level. Asking for 50% or more deposit as soon as an agreement is signed, can protect your bottom line. Most clients will agree to it as they know they are getting a good deal.

You may not know all about tracking income and expenses in the beginning. Start using online accounting software’s like SlickPie, right from away when you met a client for a coffee or paid for something from your pocket. Doing this will ensure there is no leakage of your money. Send your invoice right after work is done. Most businesses fail due to poor cash flow. What if your biggest client where you spent your most of your time didn’t pay? Or if they pay late in 60, 90 or even 180 days? There would be always some surprising extra costs that you didn’t plan for foresee. This all can lead to long sleepless nights. A good accounting software should follow up with clients that have not paid you on time and allow you to take an action to save the day.

Be ready for lifestyle change

Mostly qualified and experienced employees do earn more than freelancers. They have a stable income and a nice lifestyle. If you are someone who thinks that have something that will take you to the moon, go ahead and start your own business but be willing to live at basic income for years without any social life and no lifestyle. You will end up working 12-14 hours a day during the prime years of your life, but there is also a possibility that any success will bring more money and a better lifestyle with the option of being your own boss.

Most freelancers start small, providing superior services to a small set of clients for a few months and build upon that base. Ideally, current employers should be your first client. You know the process, they have the tools you need to perform and you just sell your expertise as a contractor without any social security net that you get as an employee. This potentially puts more money in your pocket to save or reinvest into your nascent business. Never steal clients from your employer, but build those valuable relationships and they will start referring you some of their friends from their group. Bounce ideas off your existing connections to see who can be a part of the team at some other stage of your business.

Are you from the UK, Australia, or New Zealand? Then This Is for You!

SlickPie is constantly improving so businesses from all around the world can have access to top-notch features and tools to help them get paid faster. Many improvements have been made in the past months and now we have yet some other exciting news to share with you, so here it goes: from now on, users from the UK, Australia, or New Zealand will enjoy unlimited access to live bank feeds from their own local banks! That’s right! SlickPie has just expanded to support all the major banks in these countries to deliver the best experience possible to our users!

This great product enhancement will allow users to obtain up to one year of historical data and to handle bank authentication with more security and ease of use than ever. Finally, after some extensive share of hard work from our devs team, this benefit is now live to help small businesses thrive even more. So access your SlickPie account right away and start taking advantage of it, the improved live bank feeds today!

A 2016 Retrospective: 3 Awesome SlickPie News You Can’t Miss

At SlickPie, we have one mission – to help small business owners run a better business. Since the first line of the code was written, we’ve significantly fine-tuned SlickPie and adding more functionality to help better suit your needs.

Helping freelancers, consultants, and other small business owners work more efficiently is incredibly important. Why? As per Labor Department productivity, the hourly output per worker, over the last four quarters increased just 1.6%. Higher productivity results in higher income without boosting the cost of products & services. The productivity needs to be increased.

From simpler online accounting to a more intuitive bank reconciliation, you’ll find plenty of new ways to streamline your business management with SlickPie—so you can spend more time on billable productive work. There were hundreds of small improvements under the hood that made SlickPie even slicker and ready for 2017.

Better and Broader Bank Feeds: We found that many of our users were from Australia, New Zealand & UK but we were not able to provide live bank feeds for them. We made many improvements in our bank feeds and now we support all the major financial institutions worldwide. Improved banking data along with seamless bank reconciliations makes your day to day accounting a breeze. We have also made changes that seamlessly import statements downloaded from your bank if live bank feeds are not available for your bank.

Improved Onboarding Process: Many of us are just starting out to use an online accounting software for the first time. For those of us, we have eliminated many steps and now automatically create local sales tax and chart of accounts or categories that you can edit to fit your needs. This means you get to sending your first invoice in the minimal time possible.

Introducing MagicBot: Not only MagicBot attach a copy of the receipt or bill to the transaction but read all key financial data from those documents to automatically create those transactions for you. You can scan all of your files and dump them into a Dropbox folder and let MagicBot do the rest of your accounting. There can’t be more flexible and powerful way to save tons of time and bring efficiency in your business.

SlickPie already allows you to add a document to any transaction so you’ve backup if you’re being audited. Most of SlickPie users also use this option to attach contracts, agreements, check images and other important business documents. No more “shoebox,” because everything is on the cloud, secure and backed up. When needed,  you can easily download individual documents to your computer.

We also improved support for worldwide date formats, added support for recoverable sales tax like GST in Canada. Now you can run sales tax reports on the basis of components of a tax. Last year we also Integrated with PayPal and Stripe so that you can receive online payments. We have further simplified getting paid using PayPal or by credit card directly from your online invoices. Getting Paid by credit card is just simple one click process.

Work is currently in progress on important features like multi-currency, quotes & estimates, and improving functionality on mobile devices. The new year is leading us to make some pretty slick and very significant improvements to our accounting app.

If you love SlickPie, we’ll be eternally thankful if you tell a friend about us today!

Safeguard Your Business From Client Poaching

You are a contractor in the Entertainment and Event Production Industry, and things were going well up till now. You hired your first employee, a family friend because you wanted to make giant leaps in the market.

The new blood has the knowledge, experience, and quality to get things done. He is building strong relationships with your customers, vendors, and partners and you are investing money into him, so he is always productive. You trust him and are focused on making things better for your employee, clients and yourself. And suddenly, he quits.

The next thing you come to know is that your clients are being poached by him for a reduced price, and perhaps a better service because he knows your weaknesses. The bad news is that you find that some of your clients are willing to jump ship. So, in that case, what do you do when your ex-employee or sub-contractor start poaching your clients?

You can complain to your mom or break his hands for cheating and try to take unfair advantage of your well-established business. After all, it takes years of investment and marketing strategies to build a solid client base, but the other guy stole it and didn’t even have to invest a dime in it.

Here’s how you can protect your business from client poaching.

The first thing you should do is to look at the papers you asked your employee to sign at the time of joining. In fact, job and confidentiality agreements for the most creative workers usually have a clause related to the non-solicitation.

For example: “… agree that during the term of your employment with the Company and for 24 months after the termination thereof, regardless of the reason for the employment termination, you will not, directly or indirectly, solicit or attempt to solicit, or accept any business from any of the Company’s Clients, Prospects, and Vendors with whom you had Material Contact during the time of your employment with the Company. ”

If you have something like an above duly signed agreement by your ex-employee or sub-contractor, it can be fully enforced by the courts. It’s the right time to get a lawyer involved and usually “a cease and desist letter” may be enough.

Your ex-employee can opt to ignore this letter as it has no legal standing, but this gives you an opportunity to start a legal action. Courts have been diligent, and there are chances you may recoup part of your losses and might even claim the income lost.

Hiring lawyers is the financial decision that will cost you both time and money. It may not get you all your clients back, but a crippling legal judgment against the bad guy can put tape on the leakage and will stop the dripping.

By taking these necessary actions, you’ll be able to stop your ex-employees from taking advantage of your business. In fact, any business owner can sustain a long-term relationship with its clients by being honest, transparent, and loyal to them. Once you do so, they’ll stay hooked to your company’s products and services.

New! Meet MagicBot – Data Entry No More

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One beautiful evening during a visit to a family friend who owns and operates a small printing shop, the owner patiently opened up a box full of receipts. He lined up all the bills and receipts from the box and started typing them in an Excel sheet while we were chatting. It took him more than two hours or so, and once done, he powered his other computer on, logged in and started entering that Excel data in his accounting software. We were chatting, drinking, and having fun, but it was becoming slowly boring, and finally just before midnight, he was done.

An evening that was supposed to be fun, ended up quite dull and boring. Unfortunately, that was the only time the poor soul could have done this time-consuming and repetitive task. He is no different than millions of other small business owners working almost 70-80 hours a week and still barely catching up because the world is not made for them.

On the way back home while driving, I thought over this. This needs to change. He does not have to do this thing again, ever. This led us to MagicBot, the modern foundation of an accounting cycle in the 21st century. The changing landscape of small business bookkeeping and accounting demands that humans spend minimum time on boring, repetitive, and dirty tasks. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and accountants are some of the hardest-working people on the planet, and now SlickPie just makes their lives a little bit easier.

MagicBot is a core part of SlickPie online accounting software, a revolutionary innovation that is going to change how all accounting software works today. It goes out and fetches all those hundreds and thousands of receipts, bills, and other documents that you have stored with a storage service provider like Dropbox. Not only that, MagicBot will create automatic accurate financial transactions that you can review, edit, and approve, thus saving hundreds of hours for small business owners. MagicBot does it all seamlessly by leveraging the power of machine learning and feedback from humans.

I was hooked to SlickPie as soon as I took the picture of a receipt and saved it in my Dropbox and it showed up almost instantly in SlickPie. I almost had a heart attack! Now I just have to take a picture of a receipt and send it to Dropbox and I am done. My bills are being delivered automatically to my Dropbox now.

 –       Souror Wong, Coastal Learning & Training

 The automatic expense account assignment option will help you to categorize your data to the appropriate expense account. MagicBot automatically updates your general ledger as receipts and bills are fetched from Dropbox. All you have to do is review and approve. In fact, there’s literally a little requirement for human input. There is really nothing more to do than reviewing and approving the data!

We believe our lead in innovative technology will define the bookkeeping industry in upcoming years and will be followed by other big 400-pound gorillas in the industry. Current major players in the small business accounting software industry only offer partial solutions and have been unable to fix difficult “time-traps”. MagicBot solves this ancient age problem and solves it quickly.

Now business owners can have reliable financial data that shows a true and current picture of what is going on in their business’s reality.

SlickPie has helped us save more than five hours a week in bookkeeping.

 –       Ben Mutz, CEO – New Age Media

A collective community of 120 businesses came together to test and develop MagicBot during the private beta. Enthusiasts and experts came together to impart valuable feedback, information, and best practices to optimize the automation process for usability and simplicity and today I invite you to join this journey by participating in public beta to make it even better. More feedback we receive better will be your automated data entry tasks.

Delightful experience with SlickPie is going to eclipse all providers, and we are on the path to becoming one of the most popular and fast-growing cloud accounting software on the market. New SlickPie innovations in accounting software make managing books easier than ever. By helping and delighting businesses, MagicBot secures its spot at the heart of SlickPie online accounting software.

Core innovations in MagicBot make SlickPie a winning product to be used by every business. Forward-thinking software makes accounting ridiculously easy and simple, which a big deal and always was for entrepreneurs.

The SlickPie team thinks, plans, and codes how we can just make SlickPie easier to use for you. Every time we do an update the software gets easier to use and becomes more accessible to even more people.

SlickPie is packed with useful, time-saving features including automated reminders, recurring invoicing, and live bank feeds. Technology benefits are full of abundance, and MagicBot makes it even better by instantly populating data in the general ledger. We create an ultimate amazing experience of working with cloud accounting software. That leads to your success because now with more time in hand, you can extend the same delightful experience to your clients:

I got my three hours back just in one week because of you. You have given me five hours back that I can spend with my family as my work is being done not only quickly but also efficiently.

 –       Sandra Gallo, Freelancer

 Business owners are spending countless hours on boring and repetitive tasks, and that worries me. It scares me when I see hour after hour being wasted when there is a much better option to do the same thing. Accounting automation means more time for you, a less stressful life, and a happy personal and professional life. Go ahead and empower yourself.

As always, I am always interested in your input during this public beta on how we can make it even more useful and powerful for, just you. Join the cloud revolution today. Make fewer mistakes… Process faster… Any receipt or bill… Any format… It’s all automatic!

Go For Unique Trends To Scale Biz Growth!

New entrepreneurs and small businesses are constantly searching for new technologies and cost-effective software to compete, grow and achieve success in their respective industries. In this ever-growing competitive environment, it is essential to keep up with the runaway pace and this is only possible, if you keep a tab on novel trends and identify technological innovations that are happening across the world.  Let’s take a quick sneak peek to know why there is a need to move on to unique trends to rev up your business revenues.

Embrace Avant-Garde Technologies: To be well-organized, productive and competitive simultaneously, it’s very essential for small businesses to develop better products and services in line with top trends and new technologies popping up in the industry. It’s necessary for small businesses to adopt cost-effective technologies for greater agility and reduced complexity. For example: Office 365 lets you work effortlessly anywhere at any time. With this, you don’t need to worry about securing your data, as it perfectly controls and gives you more mailbox storage.

Strategically Convey Compelling Value Proposition: Make sure that you clearly communicate your brand’s strategy to your target customers, employees, investors and business partners. Follow this thumb rule – to never disappoint your customers. Always try your best effort to meet customers’ expectations and deliver products or services consistently. In business, never follow your instinct, get into the customers’ shoes, talk to them, get their feedback and accordingly reinvent your end product and services to attract more loyal customers.

Protect Your Intellectual Property (IP) Rights: The most essential and valuable asset for any brand or company is its Intellectual Property Right. IP rights are considered as the most important intangible asset because the success of a company is largely dependent on protection of its brand and IP. Therefore, it’s recommended for new businesses to take proactive measures with regard to preserving their IP rights from any kind of unauthorized usage. Steps you can take are usually specific to your profession. For example if you are a photographer, though you would be unable to fully stop others from copying your images but you can take steps that will make copying images more difficult by using techniques like watermark, hidden layers, tiling, disabling right-clicks etc.

Online Accounting For Organizing Your Finances: Say goodbye to traditional accounting practices as accounting requirements are now better fulfilled by online accounting software. It lets you organize and track all sales/review or send invoices/do taxes or manage all your accounting needs in a seamless way. For example, SlickPie’s Software offers remarkable features and offer time saving tools that empower entrepreneurs to manage their business flawlessly.

Online accounting features

Computing Is No Longer Restricted To Personal Computers (PCs): Computing on smartphones, tablets and even smart wearable devices have impeccably surpassed PCs now! As people now have more access to internet connectivity on their smartphones, the industry insiders feel that going in for mobile computing can turn out to be the best choice for small businesses. Today, everyone loves spending more time on their mobile phones to research about the upcoming purchases, hunt for best deals, discounts and compare price-points of products and services offered by various companies in the digital space.

UNIQUE TRENDS FOR ACHIEVING QUICK GROWTH IN BUSINESS

Unique Trends For Achieving Quick Growth In Business

 Start Your Own Website: Social media is in. Everyone counts on it excessively as it aids in creating and popularizing your products and services. But, if you don’t own a website, then, you may be lagging behind your business rivals. There are plenty of players in the market that create websites. Once you have website, just ensure that it is mobile friendly and works well. For example: WordPress.com allows you to create your website or blog for free.

Participate In Conferences, Trade Shows And Exhibitions: Though social media is termed as the most prolific medium to create your brand visibility, however, sometimes you can also participate in conferences as a key speaker and even book your stall in exhibitions and prominent trade shows where you get a chance to meet new prospects that you can further turn into new customers.

Get Listed On Online Directories: To be able to find new customers and let customers find you, it is important that small businesses must get themselves registered on online directories so that search engines can help your brand show up in top pages.

Secure Your Business From Cyber Threats: No matter how big or small your company is – you are still prone to cyber-attacks that are incessantly occurring every now and then. It’s better to prepared in advance and learn to know – how you can secure your data. Learn more about securing your brand from cyber fraud or attacks or any other common threats you might come across online.

Developing and developed economies of the world now have access to numerous technologies that can support small businesses and entrepreneurs in scaling their business growth. To be more organized and efficient than ever, it is up to you, how you decide which types of technology is right for your business.

Increase Your Business Income In Six Simple Steps

As a small business owner, it’s essential to be constantly attentive towards finding novel profit-making opportunities. To understand, what it really takes to actually survive in the competitive environment and become a profitable enterprise in a shortest possible time, it’s now time to get creative and focus more on ways to quickly ramp up your business.

Here are some nifty ideas that you can essentially consider to increase your company’s profits.

  • Know who your target customers are: In every business, “Customer” is king. As a company, your job is to make things easier for your customers always. You need to get into customers’ shoes to find out – what they like and don’t like about your company’s services, what improvements they are looking in a particular service/product or software and understand more about their specific needs. Talk to them, understand about the issues they are facing and ask for their suggestions to make your product, service or software more customer-friendly. Reach out to your customers quickly and offer them additional services to intensify their biz growth.
  • Go for online accounting: Cloud based online accounting is certainly the most preferred way to go paperless in today’s times. Hopping on to simple yet effective online accounting software will definitely makes things better and helps you to manage your cash flow on your own. Currently, there are number of accounting software available in the market that offers financial management solutions for all types of businesses. Despite offering distinctive features, it also allows customers to track their finances, send automated invoices and retrieve receipts with a single click. Plus, it allows customer to access software from anywhere, at any time.
  • Invest in a cost saving technology: For small businesses, technology advancements are not just a matter of convenience, but a way to save money, ramp up sales, market their services, and retaining target customers. Instead of putting more money in expensive yet complex technology to run your business smoothly, it is important to cash in on cost saving technology to offer seamless experience to the customers and increase your revenues.
  • Social media marketing for small business: If you are active online, there are chances that you can achieve your goals better than anyone else. Social media is the most effective and powerful medium to popularize your products or services without paying additional cash to advertising agencies. You can focus on brand development, marketing and engage customers in no time. Either you are tapping the business-to-business (B2B) category or business-to-customer (B2C); social media has a massive reach across the globe. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are helping small businesses to convey their message across masses.
  • Optimize your web presence: If you are running a website, it’s best to work more on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to enhance your presence on top pages of Google. If your SEO is well in place, you will be able to attract more customer traffic to your website. Furthermore, there are more chances for people to find you online which will radically improve presence and lets you convert every click into profits.
  • Moving from ordinary to “unique”: Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? The only way is – you need to think of out-of-the-box ideas to create a unique selling proposition of your end product.  Keep innovating often to build that exceptional image of product or service on the customer’s mindset that will eventually help you to stay ahead of ever-growing competition and allows you to build a better brand visibility in the market.

5 Hidden Nuggets You Need To Know About SlickPie

As a small business owner, I always struggled with the limited time I’ve had. While, I was writing the framework for SlickPie, one of my first goals was to ensure that the end product is super user friendly and which assists in getting the work done in a shortest possible time. Whether it’s about saving time, easy access or flexibility it brings to the work, SlickPie always endeavors to offer best from the rest.

If you haven’t tried this yet, here are 5 hidden nuggets that you need to be aware of; while using this avant-garde cloud-based accounting software that certainly has more power to radically improve the way you do business…

  1. Always Attach Source Documents

Storing receipts and documents in an old shoebox or a filing cabinet are a passé now. Now, you don’t need to keep the hard copy of the bill from your internet service provider anymore. Just attach the PDF copy that you received by email to the bill transaction you created and keep it in the cloud forever for easier access. Also, take a picture of the parking fee that you just paid with a credit card and save that image with the expense transaction in SlickPie. It helps you in saving time and there is no better way to go paperless and audit-proof your business in a seamless way.

attach source docs in Slickpie cloud accounting

2) Create Notes

You did a photography gig for a client and you had to do some additional work so, invoice amount may be more than what you guys originally agreed upon, all this can be documented for your client to see in “Notes – Visible to Customer” as well ininternal “Notes” that are visible only to you. Use this gem extensively to your advantage so that you can remind yourself even after 6 months, what happened and why invoice amount was different.

Notes - SlickPie online accounting

3) Proactive Monitoring to Deal with Unpaid Invoices

How many times, you have to call the client for non-payment of an invoice? Has it ever happened that the client claimed to have never received the invoice? I personally feel that such problems can create severe cash flow problems for your business. So, next time you call and they claim of never receiving the invoice, send them this screen shot that you can find under “Notes” to counter the claims they’ve made. It clearly shows when an invoice was seen and by whom.

viewed invoice history4) Review Sent or Not Sent Invoice?

How many times you have come across a situation when you wonder if an invoice has been sent or not? A little nugget in SlickPie, “Resend” makes it easy for you to determine it quickly. Check “Notes” to see in detail when a specific invoice was sent. You can also filter out all the invoices that have already been sent from your side.

invoice sent or not

5) Activate Online Payments

Data in SlickPie at an aggregate level shows us that invoices that had ‘Online Payments enabled’ are getting paid within 48 to 72 hours which is immensely different when compared with invoices that are being paid with checks. If you deal with loyal clients, who send you payment by check on regular basis, it may be a risk worth taking but, for most small businesses, ‘Activating Online Payments’ will help you to get money in your bank account quickly.

online accounting for freelancers

I hope you will find above-mentioned nuggets helpful in terms of managing your business in a best possible way. Whether you are starting your new venture or already have an established business, SlickPie offers an advanced pack of features that will certainly help in taking your business to new heights.

Get Paid Faster! – Utilizing Online Invoicing for Your Small Business

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Invoicing plays an integral part in any small business; it is the essentials of getting paid and the source of inflows of revenues in your business. In the past, business owners would have to print and deliver invoices manually and receive payments later physically, in the form of a check or some other means. Nowadays, this method has proven to be an inefficient way to work. Online invoicing is the invoicing of today for small business owners and it provides an endless amount of benefits that will not only improve your daily work processes, but also grow your business. However, some have failed to adopt online invoicing, partly because of ignorance and partly because they are unaware of the advantages. Below you will find some of the top benefits of utilizing online invoicing.

Mobility
Going online allows you to create and send out invoices from anywhere. Being stationary reduces your options and stunts how much your company can grow. Online invoicing enables you to go mobile and depending on the software of your choice, all you need is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Not only that, the new generation of software like SlickPie can track when was an invoice sent, when was it viewed and if payment was made using online payment options like PayPal, Stripe and others, they can also update your books automatically. Staying up to date helps keep you in the loop on the status of your invoices. This is a huge time saver and you don’t have to stop working on your business just to get invoices out.

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Make sure you Enable Online Payment to get paid faster

Reminders
Oftentimes you send out an invoice to a customer and then end up forgetting about it for months and sometimes even forever; this is a common occurrence and problem that all small business owners face. If you send invoices with net 30 terms, but your clients are paying you net 45 or net 60, your business will under-perform.

Most online invoicing software can automatically send payment reminders on your behalf and some give the ability to set reminders for payment deadlines on every invoice you send out; you will never forget about an invoice again. This will greatly improve your chances of receiving your payments on time and management of your cash flow.

Customization
Every small business is different and every invoice is a reflection of what the business represents. Customizing your invoices with your own logo, color scheme, font, and tone sets you apart from other businesses and allows you to stand out from the competition.

Backup
Losing invoices is a real problem for both you and your customers. However, this is only a problem that affects non-users of online invoicing. Managing your invoices online means that you can store unlimited digital copies of any invoice either as an e-mail or a PDF. If a customer loses it, you can send them a new one in a matter of seconds.

Integration
Most accounts payable and receivable software can be integrated in your accounting software, which helps make your life much easier. Some accounting software even have the feature directly built-in. By having your online invoicing integrated in your accounting software, it allows you to see the immediate effects on your accounts and financials in general. When you send out or receive a payment, you will them reflected instantly in your payables and receivables.

Money Saved
Costs for paper may not seem like much at first, but very quickly those costs can begin to add up; especially if you are in a growing business. The costs for paper alone can add up to upwards of a thousand dollars annually. Online invoicing eliminates the need for paper since everything is done digitally and helps save you money that you can allocate elsewhere in your business.

Environmentally Friendly
As mentioned above, eliminating the use of paper not only benefits you, but also the environment. With the amount of invoices you send out per year, imagine how many sheets of paper you are printing out and how many trees you could be saving by going online. Why continue to waste paper when it is no longer a necessary cost?

If you haven’t done so already, sign up for SlickPie’s free account and create your first online invoice. Setting up your account, your company, and sending out your first invoice is super easy and takes less than TWO MINUTES! Check out our “Getting Started” video for more information.

How to Select the Right Online Accounting Software for YOU

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We are seeing a change underway in how small business entrepreneurs and freelancers opt for the products and services that help them grow and work proactively. This is significantly different than what used to be the case in a small business. I remember once at Welcome Networks, we had to send a technician to a small business office to train users how to scan to a folder from an MFP printer. The issue was that users could not figure out that they needed to select their name from the address books configured on the scanner and they were just choosing the “Frequently Use” container; a simple task, but pretty hard for a novice.

The new generation is different and they like things that are mobile, offer flexibility, and can get the job done quickly. There are many online accounting solutions that are repackaged from the business logic of decades ago. Things have changed and this is what you should look for in an accounting solution for your small business.

Accounting Software should work for you to increase your cash flow
The days of printing and mailing an invoice are gone. Today, most modern accounting software allows you to send invoices online so that you can track things like whether your customer has viewed the invoice. Online invoicing also helps you in getting paid on time because you can collect payments right from the invoice page. The most common payment options are PayPal or credit card and the common ongoing rate is 2.9% + 30¢ per successful credit card charge. Though online payments can be turned off in SlickPie, I would highly recommend that you turn it on. Our research indicates that most invoices with online payments enabled are being paid within 2 business days compared to 2 to 3 weeks when paid by check. Things like sending late payment reminders and live bank feeds are a must to ensure you get paid fast and are on top of your finances. SlickPie fetches live bank feeds from more than 17,000 banks and credit unions all around the world.

Clarity for you and your clients
I have seen software where it seems like you need a Ph.D. to figure out the breakup of your invoice. Can you enter and display discounts clearly on your invoices? If you charge taxes and you deal with multiple taxes, can you figure out with one click how much sales tax you owe to the government? If you have to jump through 3 pages to find all the critical information, there is something wrong with the software you are evaluating and it is probably not the one for you.

Ease of convenience
Many old solutions are bloated with features that you will rarely use. Think about the core features you really need: you need online invoicing and online payments, what else? Think about what you need and what is a waste of your hard earned money. You may end up paying close to $50 a month for features that you will never use. Being smart and visionary about your business will help in putting hard earned cash back in your business.

Better connection to an Accountant
No business would become a great business without a great accountant at their side. There are things like bank reconciliations, making financial statements, and information needed to file personal or corporate taxes where access to an accountant can be the difference between the success and death of your business. Many accounting solutions cut corners and leave you stranded when you need to dig deeper to understand your business. If you are using SlickPie, there are multiple important financial reports for you to utilize; invite your accountant for help when you need it.

Think about what’s important for you. SlickPie has a logical sequence of defined workflows. Let us look at the invoice. First you can create an invoice and keep the draft and when you’re ready, approve it and send it off to a customer and your customer can make their payment online or offline. For some of you, this workflow can be just as simple as creating, approving, and sending with one click or maybe not sending it at all because you already have done the work and just need to enter payment details. Understanding and implementing your business goals in your online accounting software will lead to growth and a better future for your business. Choose SlickPie online accounting and open your free account today.