Take Advantage of The Summer Season and Boost Your Business Productivity

Clockwork

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

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.

Biggest Accounting Challenges Faced by Small Businesses

money-515058_960_720

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!

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

invoice-paid-on-laptop-showing-payment-receipt_zyJCDQvO

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.

screenshot1
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

choosing-the-rigth-piece-decision-concept_GyhG_nRO

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.

Solve the Marketing Puzzle for Your Business With These Tools

online-marketing-1246457_1280

Every small business owner can relate to the difficulties of growing and exposing their business. This is especially difficult for businesses just starting out. So, how does a fresh, brand-new business get their name out to the masses? The answer is simple, marketing. Everyone knows what marketing is, but knowing and doing are two completely different things. To put simply in layman terms, marketing can be defined as promoting your product or service to your desired consumers. Sounds easy don’t it? Then why do so many businesses have trouble with marketing? They have trouble because they are not utilizing the correct toolset needed to cover every aspect of the marketing process. The marketing world is a big one and it contains many subsets that small business owners often overlook; things such as SEO, social mentions, metrics, and much more. To give you guys a better understanding of marketing for small businesses, we have compiled a list of our favourite marketing tools you can use as starting blocks right now to help you solve the marketing puzzle.

Google Analytics
This is probably the most important analytical tool for any business of any size and most have implemented it already; however, if you have not, here are some reasons why you should. Google Analytics gives you a wealth of information regarding the key metrics for your website and business. Just to name a few, you are able to measure past and present data such as impressions, referrals, and conversions. You can even go more in-depth and find out where the traffic for your website is coming from, what devices your visitors are using, and how many are new or returning visitors you are getting. Google Analytics is an extremely complex tool that takes some time to learn, but it is well worth it because the amount of data you receive is crucial in understanding how well your business is doing online.

Buffer
Social media has made a major impact in the way marketing is done today and now plays an integral part in the way you communicate with your audience. Buffer is an app that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one convenient location. Not only that, but you can automate and schedule content for an entire week. Simply add content to your queue and let Buffer do the rest. There are many social media management tools on the market, but we like Buffer because it is simple, easy to use, and also offers a free version that is robust enough for small businesses.

Audiense
Formerly known as SocialBro, Audiense provides you with insights behind your audience on social media. You can setup dashboards for each of your social media accounts and in there you will find metrics like inactive followers, newbie followers, and influential followers. Audiense gives you a more focused look at what type of people your audience consists of and which are the most important people you should be building connections with who can help grow your business. They also provide some cool analytics like “what is the best time to tweet?”

MailChimp
MailChimp is an app that enables businesses to manage their newsletter list, mass distribute e-mails to their list, and create e-mail marketing campaigns. MailChimp is often recognized as the no.1 tool for e-mail marketing and with the amount of features they offer, it’s hard to challenge that claim. The free version allows up to 500 subscribers and 3,000 e-mails per month, but you will not have many of the automated features.

Inspectlet
Inspectlet is a very cool app that shows you how visitors interact with your website. Simply input a personalized code to your website and Inspectlet will begin recording sessions. You will be able see how visitors are navigating around your website, what pages they spend the most time on, and what pages they click out on. This gives you a good indication of the consumer behaviour towards your product and often times, you will notice trends that can be both negative and positive; giving you a direction of where you should be making adjustments. The free version only allows 100 recorded sessions per month which is a very small sample size. If you need more data, you should consider going for one of the paid plans.

SumoMe
SumoMe is a great list building and social sharing tool for blogs. If you are using WordPress, all you have to do is install the plugin and you can start implementing things like social share buttons and subscription pop-ups for your blog(s). It also integrates with other apps like MailChimp, so your subscribers will get pushed to any of your MailChimp lists. SumoMe is a very simple and diverse tool for any business.

Social Mention
For any small business owner, it is always good to know what people are saying about your product or service. Social Mention is search platform that tracks and measures what people are saying about you. It goes through hundreds of social media networks and even Google, to filter out every time your business has been mentioned on the internet. It is great for gauging how popular your business is and the sentiment towards it.

BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a great tool for finding the perfect content for your business. All you have to do is enter a topic and BuzzSumo will scour the web for the most popular content relating to that topic, so you can be sure that the content you are posting resonates well with your audience. With BuzzSumo, you can also find key influencers within your market, giving you a good indication of who you need to reach out to if you want to spread the “buzz” for your business to the masses.

Pablo
Visual marketing is a proven method of getting your content noticed on social media and Pablo helps you edit and create engaging images for you to share. Pablo, a subsidiary of Buffer, lets you edit any of your own images or any of their 50,000+. You can overlay your images with striking and motivational quotes that will catch your audience’s attention. It’s not a very complex image editing tool, but it is effective and completely free.

Now that you have a good list of marketing tools you can integrate into your business, we suggest you go out and try them all and see if they are right for you. Of course these are just a few of the thousands of other marketing tools out there, so we encourage you to explore on your own and continue expanding your marketing toolbox.

Simple Bookkeeping Tips to Help Small Business Owners

Bookkeeping for a small business owner can be an annoying and tedious task that consumes more time than you would think. Instead of focusing on the more important things such as the operations of your business, you are stuck in the office recording invoices and receipts. As with most small business owners (you know who you are), you set aside most of the bookkeeping to be done at a later date and before you know it, you have piles and piles of data that continues to grow larger each day.  To help you reduce the headache of bookkeeping, we have compiled a few tips that you can start implementing right away.

Hire a bookkeeper
It would be wise to seek the help of a bookkeeper because they are trained in doing the tasks that you absolutely dread. Bookkeeping is their daily job, so you can expect quick and efficient work to be done while you are focused on your business. Bookkeepers also provide useful insights that will be difficult for an untrained person to catch since they know what to look for in the numbers. To make both your jobs easier, it is highly recommend that both you and your bookkeeper work on the same accounting platform so that collaborating can be done with ease. If you are in need of a bookkeeper, try looking in the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada; there you will find many reputable bookkeepers that will fit your needs.

Keeping track of your expense receipts
Failing to keep copies of your business expense receipts can cause a lot of problems to your books. Oftentimes, you will be left confused of where that charge came from and what it was used for, which could lead to incorrectly reported expenses. As a small business owner, you should always keep your receipts and make notes of what the charge is for so you can make reference to them in the future; however, stockpiling every single receipt can also be cumbersome and difficult to manage. Software such as Receipt Bank can help you manage your receipts by extracting the physical data and importing it to you digitally. Importing a receipt can be as easy as scanning it to your computer or taking a photo from your smartphone and uploading it to your software; ideal for small business owners on-the-move.

Managing your invoices
It is not uncommon for small business owners to lose track of unpaid and late bills. Upon issuing an invoice to a client or customer, keeping an eye on payments becomes an afterthought; especially when you have hundreds of them awaiting payment. Unpaid and late bills can really disrupt the cash flow for your business and cause headaches for you in the future. Using a cloud accounting software to issue and manage your invoices will help make invoicing easy and manageable. Depending on the cloud accounting software of choice, you will be able to create and send invoices to clients or customers in the matter of seconds; not only that, but you can also receive payments online through the likes of PayPal. Unpaid and late bills will also be easily traceable because they will be sorted from the rest of your invoices. Cloud accounting software helps you manage your invoices for you.

Accurately recording bank deposits
With such large amounts of data being entered and recorded, it is inevitable that there will be mistakes and sometimes these mistakes can bear large costs. Inaccurately recording your bank deposits could result in paying more taxes for money that you might have recorded as income. As a small business owner, you must be on top of where each deposit is coming from and where it should be accounted for. Software like Hubdoc helps you automate this task by fetching all your financial statements and organizing them into one convenient location; reducing the risk of error in your data entry. Hubdoc is able to store years worth of financial data so it can be easily accessible and understandable for you.

These were just a few simple bookkeeping tips for you as a small business owner and we hope you can put these to use so that you can focus more on your business. We highly recommend that you check out the software and services we mentioned in this post and for more information check out the links we provided.

Too Many Cloud Services Can Actually Hurt Your Small Business

Cloud software has become an integral aspect in small businesses. Small business owners have realized the benefits from working in the cloud; it gives you flexibility, saves you time, money, and also increases the productivity between you and your team. However, as with everything else in the world, too much of something can actually be a bad thing and the same applies for working in the cloud.

Let’s start with the cost. Although cloud software is generally cheaper as you can work with one account throughout your entire network, the monthly costs do add up. Subscribing to too many cloud services will continue to snowball your expenses without you realizing. You probably won’t even notice it until the end of the month when you see a bunch of magical 0’s pop up on your monthly bills; yikes! Looking at many cloud accounting software, they will often charge for add-ons such as payroll and inventory and those can really begin to pile up if you do not pay close attention to what is being added on and where it is being added on.

Secondly, having too many cloud services can begin to be confusing. You’re a small business owner with a lot already on your plate; it’s stressful, we understand your pain. So we also know how annoying it is to go searching for that one file you uploaded to your cloud. Having too many cloud services can actually cause overlapping in some features like your storage. You should always be aware of what features your cloud software can offer so you can remove the ones that do the same thing. For example Dropbox and Box are two very successful cloud storage services, so which one do you choose? Dropbox is more geared towards sharing multimedia and has a simple interface, whereas Box is better for enterprises with a a more complex interface; it all really depends on what you need for your small business.

Now let’s help you choose the right software for your needs so that you never run into these problems. First you need to put in consideration of how big your business is. Is your business small? Medium? Over 10 employees? Under 10 employees? The size of your business and workforce narrows down what you can and cannot do with certain cloud services and how much you should be spending.

Features are another important factor, so you should really look at all the features a service brings to the table. For example, do you need a cloud accounting software that’s simple and easy to use? Or do you need one that is complex with an in-depth inventory system? Focus on what you need for your business. Most cloud services either allows you to try it before you buy or offer a free service with some feature restrictions. Always test the software before making the decision to purchase because it helps build your familiarity with the interface and once you get the hang of it, then you can decide if it is right for you.

You should also seek advice from your colleagues to see what they are using and how they are using it; just remember to take it with a grain of salt because what works for them might not work for you.

Also server location should not be forgotten when narrowing down your list of potential cloud services because your data is important and you should know exactly where it is being stored and how secure it is. Find a service that fully discloses this information to you and remember to look for 256 bit SSL as this is the industry standard for data encryption.

Technical support is often overlooked, but you’d be surprised how many service providers either charge for their support or do not even offer phone support; crazy, isn’t it? Cloud software can be difficult to learn and manage, so you need all the help you can get to understand the software inside out. Look for a service that is there for you whenever you need help and communication is possible across many channels.

We hope this was helpful in showing you what to look for when picking and choosing cloud services for your small business so that you can make the most out of your cloud experience.