How to Get Rid of Bookkeeping Chaos

Perplexed accountant looking at huge piles of documents held by his business partners while doing financial reports

I’m amazed by how many companies still spend tons of time to organize their business’ books. Every time a source document needs to be tracked or that a bank statement needs to be included in an account reconciliation, it is the same story all over again: total chaos.

When it comes to small business the situation is even worse. Usually, the business owner will be responsible for organizing the majority of the books himself, which can be a nightmare for people with no Accounting/Bookkeeping background. The amount of time and money that is wasted in this mess is huge, especially when added up at the end of the year. Good thing is, SlickPie is here with some valuable tips to help putting an end to that chaos.

The very step you can take to improve your company’s books is to digitize all documents your company has. That’s right, even that $2 parking receipt from 7 months ago or that restaurant bill from that business dinner, make it digital! Documents that are stored in digital formats are much easier to handle and to access. This change alone can save tons of time for you every single month.

Another necessary change to enhance your books organization and security is to upload your data to the cloud. By doing this companies can save their information on external servers that can be accessed at anytime from anywhere. Some cloud service providers such as Welcome Networks offer military-grade security for virtual desktops so small businesses can enjoy a hacking-proof storage environment.

Yes, the measures previously mentioned are highly important to help you overcome the bookkeeping chaos, but the most important thing you can do about that is definitely implementing an online accounting software instead of the old fashioned offline desktop systems. These online programs allow you to send invoices, create bills, do bank accounts reconciliation, see financial reports, and many other benefits using the cloud. SlickPie free online accounting software even provides businesses with exclusive resources such as source document upload to make sure their financial books are always kept accurate and organized. SlickPie also allows you to keep a close eye on your transactions through cash flow statements, balance sheets, and all other pertinent records registered in the system, and you can do this using any device connected to the internet.

By implementing these actions your company will save time, money, and it will be much more secure by keeping organized books synched to the cloud. The bookkeeping chaos that most small businesses face on daily basis can be easily avoided if the right solution is chosen, so give SlickPie a try and see how tangible results will come after the very first month!

 

Image: https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/perplexed-accountant-looking-at-huge-piles-of-documents-held-by-his-business-partners-while-doing-financial-reports

5 Business Lessons to Learn From Pokémon GO

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You must have heard about Pokémon GO. I mean, if you have used any social media channels, accessed any business portal, or even stepped foot in any slightly popular public place in the past couple of weeks, then you must have heard about it. But in case you’ve just got out of whatever hibernation chamber you’ve been living in and have no idea of what Pokémon GO is, I’ll give you a brief.

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) game developed by Niantic for mobile devices. The game was released in the US, Australia, and New Zealand on July 6th, 2016. Despite the fact that the game was officially released in only three countries on that date, millions (seriously, millions) of people used “alternative” ways to play it all around the globe.

The game is based on the Pokémon franchise (*shocking*) and the main goal for the players is to catch all the 150 little monsters (a.k.a. Pokémon) from the original Pokémon game and that exist in this first version. That’s pretty much the same style of original Gameboy versions, right? Wrong. There is one small detail this time, the players have to catch them in the real world! This is possible thanks to the augmented reality technology in the game, which uses a mix between a map system with real life locations and virtual features that make the little creatures appear on the player’s phone screen as if they were right in front of them in the streets.

OK, now you know what this crazy thing called Pokémon GO is all about, but why is it causing such massive impact all over the world? What is triggering this sort of behaviour from customers? And more important, what can you learn from this phenomenon to leverage your business to grow? Check it out:

1. Taking risks is the price for success

Pokémon is a franchise owned by The Pokémon Company, which is partially owned by the videogames giant Nintendo. Nintendo was facing some big challenges to compete in the domestic consoles market with its Wii U against Sony’ PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, so they had to come up with an alternative source of income.

Nintendo has been leading the portable games scenario since their first Gameboy was launched decades ago, and leading by far. However, the exponential growth of mobile phone gamers led them to rethink their strategy in the segment. In what is arguably one of the biggest risk-taking actions in the company’s history they decided to launch their franchises on phones two, which could end up jeopardizing their own handheld dominance with the Nintendo 3DS, but they did it anyway and they delegated the production and development of the game to Niantic and they just hoped for the best. As you can see, the decision paid off big time!

2. When innovating, be disruptive

Augmented reality has been around for fairly quite some time now, but this is the first time that it’s really hitting the masses. Several other companies tried to pull off a hat trick by implementing augmented reality into their services somehow, even the almighty Google with its Google Glass took a shot and didn’t succeed. Apparently, augmented reality wasn’t going to get into customers’ hearts and companies pulled off investments in it and started investing in virtual reality instead. You can tell by now that AR wasn’t the problem, innovation was.

AR is an innovation itself, but it’s a mean rather than an end. It’s a mean for people to get more benefit from another activity, in Pokémon GO’s case that activity is entertainment. Pokémon GO managed to deliver an over satisfying experience through AR to customers, and this was the first time this was ever done the right way. Fans were provided with the possibility of crossing the virtual-real barrier and play their beloved virtual game while interacting with their cities in real life, and this can be considered a disruptive innovation since it likely changed the AR scenario for good.

3. Branding, branding, branding

Branding plays a huge role in Pokémon GO’s success. Chances are if another game would’ve been released having exactly the same characteristics of Pokémon GO it would hardly achieve the same results. The Pokémon brand has been carefully nurtured for 20 years by Nintendo. Pokémon fans were treated with massive amounts of new videogames, new little monsters, new cartoon episodes, new card game collections, new toys, and new pretty-much-anything-else related to Pokémon. The fans have an active voice in the franchise’s future and they absolutely love it.

The majority of the people that are playing Pokémon GO are in their mid-late 20’s, and that’s not hard to figure since they are the same fans that originally turned Pokémon into a worldly-known name 20 years ago. Their passion for the game/cartoon was so strong that it remained in them for all this time, and has emerged now with the advent of Pokémon GO. Turning a brand into something that customers love and are loyal to for years and years to come, that should be every company’s goal.

4. Social proof is the new rule

In a society in which no one goes to any restaurant before Yelping it, asking a friend, or hearing about it in social media, social proof has become the new standard when it comes to credibility. Most likely you know a few people (if not a lot) that are totally addicted to Pokémon GO and are playing it night and day. They are on you Facebook feed, in the malls you visit, in the parks, and basically everywhere else, making Pokémon GO one of the greatest examples there is about the power of social proof.

“If everyone else is playing then it must be at least worth trying the game out”. That’s what is triggering the interest of most non-Pokémon fans out there. Most people see the incredible social presence Pokémon GO is having and they automatically see it with positive eyes, especially when they see influencers playing it. The hype naturally (no ads!) created about Pokémon GO is so big that it’s almost impossible to resist downloading the app just to check what the game is all about, and that’s how things start. The best salesperson in the world is a happy customer, and that’s one of the main reasons for why Pokémon GO is spreading across the globe so fast.

5.  Reduce the barriers and they will come

Niantic was brilliant on this matter. Pokémon GO is such a simple and easy-to-play game that its learning curve is almost a line (oh, so funny). All players have to do is download it and play it right away. There are no formal tutorials or anything like that because the game simply doesn’t need them. That is a huge incentive for people with all sorts of backgrounds to start and to keep playing the game. It’s just pretty straightforward fun like in the good ol’ days.

Another major point here is that Pokémon GO is free-to-play. That’s right, this globally hyped game is free to download and play from the App Store and Google Play Store. This eliminates the risk on the customers’ perspective since they have literally nothing to lose if they don’t like the game (besides the five minutes it takes to try it out). Customers need to feel comfortable while making the decision to use your product, and eliminating the adoption barriers is crucial for that.

Bonus 

The idea behind Pokémon GO came from an April Fool’s Day prank made by Google (that teamed up with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company to make the prank). In 2014 the search engine company told the world that a real life job called Pokémon Master was being offered by Google. Applicants should access Google Maps to hunt for Pokémon spread out through all sorts of places including, cities, deserts, and forests, but everything was just a joke (you can watch the prank video here). Niantic was owned by Google at the time and they liked that idea very much. Two years later they launched Pokémon GO, a game that broke the record for the most downloads from the App Store and added 7.5 billion dollars to Nintendo’s market value within the first week from its release. Guess who’s laughing now…

 

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/pokemon-pokeball-pokemongo-red-1513940/

 

 

 

Take Advantage of The Summer Season and Boost Your Business Productivity

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Summer season is in full swing and along with it comes the slowed down demand for most B2B companies. Business owners are travelling, referral levels have decreased, and leads are getting cold. In a scenario that may seem hard for small businesses to strive there’s actually plenty of opportunity to improve productivity and establish advantages over the competition in the long run.

A good example of an aspect that can be improved by companies during off-season periods is virtual infrastructure, and one of the key components that can make a massive difference for you is, your accounting systems. Regardless if you are talking about small businesses or big enterprises, paper-based systems or Government-grade software, every company needs to be able to process and keep accurate track of its transaction, and this should be done in the best way possible to assure the money is coming and going where and when it should be.

Most small businesses currently handle their day-to-day accounting operation in spreadsheets or have desktop-installed software. The internet revolution has yet to make a major impact in the way small businesses do their accounting operations, but changes are coming fast… really fast.

Online accounting has been around for a while now, but its adoption only started exponentially growing in the last few years. Companies are no longer satisfied with the limited resources that traditional systems can provide to end users since many of their competitors are already offering much more.

The main advantage that any reliable accounting software will provide your company with is online invoicing. Instant invoicing can be done by using previously set templates or by creating a new one at each time, which will allow you to get paid right away. This feature alone can already bring huge benefits to you and to your customers, and it is one of the leading reasons that motivates businesses to migrate to online accounting.

Still, some accounting systems also offer other features to improve your business productivity, such as accessing all sorts of financial reports at any time so business owners can get in-depth analysis of how their companies are doing. This is a killer advantage point against competitors that still use paper-based systems since real-time insights these digital reports provide will enable you to make faster and better informed decisions. Some powerful and useful features that also make a big difference are bank reconciliation, purchase orders, transactions history, source document upload, and sales tax reporting and management.

Most options available in the market are a bit of a challenge for small business owners to master due to the high complexity involved.  These programs are developed by large corporations for large corporations, overly bloated with features that are usually too deep and technical for a small business owner to understand. If you are a fan of modern and intuitive software interface, you will certainly run into challenges when trying to get these programs working for you.

Pricing is also a concern cited by small businesses about most online accounting software since many of these software charge a monthly fee that can vary to up to $150 a month. This may not seem much, but these expenses add up quickly and can result in a year end that will cost your businesses anywhere from $500 to $2,000. This is the amount of money you could invest into growing your business instead of wasting it if you simply choose a better alternative to QuickBooks or Xero.

It’s time to seize the opportunity and boost your business productivity during this summer season by implementing an easy-to-use online accounting software, SlickPie. Free Cloud Accounting software is the way to go for any modern small business looking for better ways to save resources, so take advantage of it today and improve your results.

Online accounting definitely brings more value to your business and, most importantly, to your customers. It is not just a trend that is being followed by the most notable companies, it is a new industry standard that has emerged to stay for good.

 

Image: https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/clockwork-141029

Awesome New Source Document Upload Feature

Doing your transactions in SlickPie cloud accounting software has always been a delight. Sending invoices, creating bills, or even handling employee receipts seamlessly have become easy tasks for thousands of small business owners and freelancers all around the globe. Now, SlickPie has the pleasure of introducing another delightful new feature: source document upload!

Source documents are extremely useful to have at hand in case you need to track what originated a certain transaction to occur, or even to access further receipt information not registered in the transactional digital data and can be a time and life saver during gruelling auditing process if your business need to go through CRA, IRS and tax authority of your country.

The first step for you to take advantage of this awesome benefit is to login to your SlickPie account and select one of the available transactions from the left menu highlighted in yellow in the following image:

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Now you can choose between uploading a document to a previous transaction from your company’s history, or you can start a new transaction and attach the document to it. In both cases the procedure will be the same, all you’ll have to do is to click on the highlighted “Clip” button:

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Then a pop-up window will show up with a big green “Choose File” button for you to click on. After that you’ll just have to select the file you want to upload from your local database and then click on the “Done” button at the bottom of the pop-up window.

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After doing this you will notice that the “Clip” icon will have changed from showing the number “0” into showing the number “1”, which means that your transactions has one document attached to it. You can attach multiple documents to the same transaction to keep your finances always organized.

And that’s it! SlickPie’s new source document upload is so simple and easy-to-use that you’ll be able to start taking advantage of it right away. This feature is just one of the many benefits that using SlickPie’s cloud accounting software can bring to improve your business performance and help you assure that your finances are always on the right track.

Enjoy SlickPie delightful experience today!

Biggest Accounting Challenges Faced by Small Businesses

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According to studies by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), accounting is one of the major points of struggle for small businesses. Whether if you are an entrepreneur managing everything by yourself, or a business owner with a hired accountant, you are probably familiar with how challenging the ever-changing regulations can be. So, in order to help you make the best accounting decision for your small enterprise, we prepared a list of the 4 most common accounting pain points and tips on how you can solve them:

  1. Taxes

With businesses often closing down due to CRA or IRS penalties, it is no wonder entrepreneurs don’t take tax time lightly. If you don’t have any prior tax regulation experience, complying with all the legal requirements can be a challenge.

Luckily, the internet is full of tips to help you get your tax affairs in order. The IRS website has a great section to help you out: you might find its tax calendars and notifications especially useful as a newbie.

However, taxes are not just about inventory and transactions, simple things like where and how you register your business can have a big impact on your annual tax bill.

While sole proprietorship is among the most common business entities, registering as a corporation might be a better fit for you, as some deductions can save you from higher taxes in the long run. This ultimate guide to business structure can help you make that decision.

Lastly, if you figured your home is the best place to register your office, make sure to keep all personal and business expenses, bank accounts and credit cards separate. It’s always in your interest to consult with a tax lawyer or CPA.

  1. Paperwork

As your business grows, so does the number of employees, transactions and ultimately paperwork. Keeping good track of it can save you a lot of hustle as failing to declare some transactions may result in a penalty. However, despite this being a relatively reasonable assumption, in practice it is very challenging to control every single receipt that goes through your business and this is where technology can be of great help.

Look for better and faster way to do business. One leading accounting firm in Vancouver aggressively use PDF to Excel tool whenever they need quick access to the data from PDFs, thus saving hundreds of hours. This technology can convert PDF receipts, balance statements and other financial data into Excel, saving you precious time when transferring PDF data into an accounting. Saving paperwork is very important to us at SlickPie and we build this software ground up so that you can always attach source documents with a transaction. Next time you get a bill from your hydro company, just attach with the transaction in SlickPie and keep that record in the cloud. There is no better way to audit proof your business today and introduce efficiencies in your work flow.

  1. Cashflow

Having readily available cash is one of the basic accounting principles for any business. With a limited cash flow, a business cannot pay for all daily expenses.

Keeping track of bad debts can save you a lot of stress and money. Very often, business owners are too busy to keep track of all of their clients’ payments. Once again, a good accounting software can help you keep your receivables under control. Make sure you check this report frequently in SlickPie to catch bad guys before they become a major problem.

Quick tip for this scenario would be to check your client’s’ credit record before doing business with anyone, though I realize not all small business owners have the time and money for this extra effort.

Another source of bad cash flow is the lack of tune of credit terms. For instance, if your suppliers ask you to pay for inventory within 15 days and your customers have a 30 day period to repay their debts, you can end up with a negative cash flow. Obviously, the best solution would be to negotiate and get those terms in sync.

  1. Payroll

Payroll is another problematic accounting area for small business, and it really comes as no surprise. There are 3 choices in this situation: either handle payroll on your own, hire an accountant, or use a software.

If you decide to handle everything by yourself, there are several steps you need to take:

  • Define your worker as an employee or a contractor
  • Have them complete legal paperwork for appropriate deductions
  • Define pay period
  • Define employee perks and compensation plans

Once you have it all set up, make sure to keep your payroll system up to date as the whole responsibility lies solely on to you.

We are here to help. Start using SlickPie online accounting today to help your business overcome these and many other challenges!