Quick Tips for e-Commerce Accounting

As a freelancer/business owner, you will obviously want to ensure that your life is made as easy as it can possibly be. If you offer products/services online via e-commerce, you won’t need any explanations on just how complex and time-consuming it can be to get everything in order. Every day there are new skills you should master, and new tasks you must do, and many entrepreneurs, unfortunately, struggle to keep up.

In terms of importance, however, you simply cannot afford to underestimate the importance of good accounting. Good accounting in an e-commerce environment not only makes life easier, it can also save you money and potentially help you to avoid legal issues as well.

If you thought accounting was simply a case of saving a few receipts and printing out your bank statements every few months, you’re in for a very rude awakening indeed. Here’s a look at a few quick tips for e-commerce accounting.

Hire an accountant

Remember, your books and accounts are incredibly important and you simply cannot afford to make any mistakes. If you’re late to submit your books, you will face penalty fines, and if you submit data which is deemed incorrect, you could be audited and may be investigated. This means you could face potential criminal charges if there is a reason to believe you have deliberately submitted false information to commit fraud.

Nobody wants these worries in their life, which is why you should hire an accountant to do your finances for you. Accountants use the latest accounting software, they know exactly what they’re doing, they help organize everything so it is simple to understand, plus they do most of the work for you. This leaves you free to carry on running your online store, without having to worry about sorting your finances or organizing your books.

Purchase accounting software

We mentioned how accountants utilize the latest accounting software to hit the markets, and there is a good reason for this. Accounting software, just like SlickPie, is very useful because it organizes incomings and outgoings, it helps manage the invoicing process, it helps you store receipts and access them when needed, plus it allows you to send and receive money in the currency of your choosing.

Whether you hire an accountant or not, you should still consider looking into the possibility of purchasing SlickPie, or similar pieces of accounting software because it helps make your life so much easier. In business, time is money, so the more time you can save, the more money you can potentially be making.

Always factor in small costs

A lot of e-commerce site owners make the pricey mistake of failing to factor in small costs when tallying up their expenses. To them, a few bucks on stationary now and then is not worth worrying about, but they’re wrong. In reality, all costs should be factored in and tallied up, no matter how insignificant they may be.

Remember, every little bit of help and it all adds up over time. Failing to declare small costs could potentially end up costing you big, plus at the end of the year when you do your books, you could even claim these expenses back.

Keep an eye on your costs

Running your own business and website will eat away at a lot of your time, but you should always make sure you monitor your costs and keep an eye on them. Keep an eye on everything, work everything out, and make sure you monitor them closely.

Web hosting costs, for example, may increase year by year, and it can be easy to miss this as you will have so much else going on with your store. By keeping a close eye on your costs you know exactly how much you are spending, and you can potentially look into cheaper alternatives and ways of cutting back to help save money in the process.

Always save your invoices

The more clients you have, the more invoices you will be sending. Invoices, however, are very important from an accounting perspective because they serve as proof of financial transactions done via your business account. If you use paper invoices, make copies and file each one neatly and efficiently so you can refer back to them quickly at a later date if you have to.

Alternatively, again you may wish to consider SlickPie or similar pieces of accounting software. This software allows you to automatically send invoices, and file them digitally. This helps to get everything a lot more organized, plus you can access invoices which are years old, in a matter of seconds, rather than having to wade through pile after pile of paper.

Set a little money aside for taxes each month

As a business owner/freelancer, it is your responsibility to pay your own taxes. In life, as the saying goes ‘nothing is certain other than death and taxes’. Because of this, each month you should set aside some money ready for when you pay your taxes at the end of the financial year.

You will probably have a rough idea of how much tax you will need to pay, and if not, speak to a professional who will be able to advise you. From here, when you pay yourself, set aside a small amount of money each month, which can then be used to pay your taxes at the end of the year.

By setting a small amount aside each month, you won’t actually miss it all that much.

Work out your gross margins

As you run an e-commerce store, you will obviously be selling something online. This is where it pays to figure out the gross profit margins of your store. When you understand your gross margins, you have a better idea of how much profit you are making on each sale.

This is where you need to figure out the cost of your goods. The cost of goods represents how much you are spending on producing/purchasing these products, I.E labor, raw materials, packaging, advertising, transport, etc. Your gross margins represent how much you are making on each profit after all costs of producing the products have been taken into account.

Basically, you sell a product for $10, and it costs $6 to produce and ship that product, your gross margin on this product would be $4 after costs.

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How Blockchain Can Benefit Your Business

If you want to give your business the best possible chance of succeeding, you need to ensure you get your finances and accounts in order. For some people, this is not too much of an issue. For others, it’s a very big problem.

Some people are naturally not all that great with numbers, which is where accounting software factors into the picture. Accounting software such as SlickPie is designed to make it much easier to balance your books and get your accounts in order for each financial year.

Some business owners also choose to hire professional accountants to make the process easier still. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about cryptocurrency and Blockchain.

To some of you, Blockchain may mean nothing, but don’t worry, because that’s where we come into the picture. Blockchain can benefit your business in a variety of different ways. Here’s a look at what it is and how it can help.

What is Blockchain?

Before we fill you in on just how amazing Blockchain can be for your business, first we need to let you know exactly what it is. Basically, Blockchain is best described as being a secure electronic ledger that is evenly distributed.

It helps connect together numerous parties in a secure and honest network and facilitates the transfer of information and assets. Initially, the Blockchain was created to help make Bitcoins legitimate forms of electronic currency.

After the financial crisis less than a decade ago, people began being far more careful with their money and began looking for safer and more secure alternatives to storing it in a bank. The Blockchain was a fantastic solution for numerous reasons. It functions by recording each digital transaction using cryptographic technology to store the details in a chain sequence.

Once a transaction has been stored in the chain, that it is, it is impossible to be duplicated or removed. Each computer on the network will hold this data so they will know exactly what was spent and when. As the Blockchain grows and more and more people make online transactions with it, the more secure it becomes.

How can Blockchain benefit your business?

So, as you’ve now been brought up to speed in regards to what the Blockchain is, here are a few ways in which it will benefit your business:

It’s very traceable 

One reason why Blockchain is so useful is that it enhances traceability. Being able to track goods in supply chains is very useful for business owners as they can trace where individual components may currently be. From here, info regarding these components is then relayed from, or to, the new owner so they know exactly where it has come from and where it has gone.

It’s efficient

Another reason why you should consider hopping on the Blockchain bandwagon is due to the fact that it has been proven to be so efficient. With each transaction completed, there is no intermediary and all info is digital.

This helps speed up the process and makes it that much more efficient. Making and settling transactions can be done in seconds, with no time wasting and no messing around.

Blockchain also allows users to utilize what is known as ‘smart contracts’. From here, commercial actions are automatically triggered based on the chosen criteria laid out in the contracts in the first place. If you’re looking to streamline your business, this is incredibly useful. It also helps you to cut costs and to save time as well.

Blockchain is incredibly secure

With cyber criminals now becoming more advanced than ever, it’s important to ensure that we take the necessary steps to protect our businesses, and indeed, the personal details of our clients in the process. This is where Blockchain really shines. You see, within the Blockchain, every single transaction that takes place is verified using highly sophisticated cryptography.

This means that users can authenticate transactions and ensure that they are genuine. Just to help show you just how secure the Blockchain is, currently many military organizations across the globe are actually using versions of Blockchain tech in the defense industry, to help ensure all data is safe and secure. If it is good enough for the nation’s military, Blockchain is certainly good enough for your business.

Great for feedback

In business, feedback is very important, and again, this is where Blockchain proves so useful. As mentioned, Blockchain tech allows users the ability to trace transactions, assets, and much more besides, every step of the way.

This means that manufacturers and designers alike can get an insight into how smoothly various processes are going and can, therefore, make any improvements if they’re required.

It looks good on paper

Finally, the last benefit associated with Blockchain technology for your business which we’ll be looking at today is the fact that it looks good on paper. If you tell your customers and potential investors that you are utilizing Blockchain technology as part of your business plan, this will help improve your reputation and it will help make you appear professional in the process.

The safer people feel with you, and the more professional you look, the more likely people will be to spend their hard-earned money with you. By investing in Blockchain technology, you can rest assured that people will take far more notice of you than they did in the past, simply because of how great Blockchain looks on paper.

So, that brings proceedings to a close. As you can see from the above, Blockchain can offer you a whole variety of benefits and can really help take your business to the next level. In terms of accounting software, Blockchain is certainly well worth looking into.




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5 Secrets to Get Ahead in the Marketing World

The words “marketing and sales” are not interchangeable. Marketing is all about building relationships, and sales is about making money now. Marketing and sales can work together and complement each other nicely, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are one in the same. Let me explain.

Here are 5 secrets that top marketing experts don’t want you to know, and some practical advice to start implementing these secrets.

1) Focus on Building Relationships Instead of Trying to Sell

The More You Push, The Further They Run

When people shop, they are looking for to buy from someone they can trust, because there is so much competition out there. The competition has always been there, but thanks to the internet, anyone can find any business’s website and see what they’re all about.

If a potential customer sees that you care more about helping them solve their problem than trying to make a sale, they will bring in a sale for you. They may not buy right away, but they may come back later after remembering how much free advice you give away on your blog or YouTube channel. Or they may never buy from you, but they’ll at least spread the word of how awesome you are to their closest friends and family, which is the ultimate source of trust.

For another practical tip, try sending out emails to your subscriber list that doesn’t ask them for anything. Maybe just share something you learned that will resonate with your audience, or even just tell them about your day. The more personal, the better.

The best way to send mass email campaigns that look personal and not promotional is with GMass.

2) Understand Where the Attention is Located

Utilize Social Media and Optimize Your Website to Boost Sales

What’s the first thing people do when they’re watching a show and a commercial comes on? Whip out their phones! People are on their phones all the time, even when they shouldn’t be.

Go ahead and cry about how awful it is that people are on their phones 24/7. That’s not going to change anything. How about instead you use it to your advantage?

Use social media tools like hootsuite and buffer to set daily posts once a week. Learn how to run Instagram and Facebook ad campaigns to target specific audiences.

Use Webflow to make your website mobile-friendly and responsive across all devices. Implement Inspectlet to get a first-hand understanding of how visitors use your website.

Check out these tools as well to learn more about leveraging the attention. Digital marketing is moving fast. Can you keep up?
3) Inbound is Greater than Interruption

Connect with People Searching for YOU Instead of Interrupting Everyone

Be honest with me, how annoyed and frustrated do you get when you get interrupted by a pop-up ad? Or how many times have you actually clicked on a banner ad that had nothing to do with what you were reading about on the internet? Interruption marketing is more than just TV and radio commercials.

Inbound marketing is finding the people that are looking for you, whereas interruption marketing is getting your product or brand name ingrained into people’s heads. It’s the reason why big brands are obsessed with catchy jingles and memorable tag lines.

So why is inbound better?

Simple. It’s because there are people out there looking for YOU right now. They have a problem or want that only you have the solution to.

Spend your marketing dollars on learning how to rank in Google when people search relevant keywords instead of spending it on your first radio, TV, or pop-up ad.

Just because all of the large brands are spending millions on producing TV commercials does not mean that should be your goals as well. Times change. Don’t be like the people who get stuck doing something one way because that’s how it’s always been.

4) Grab Attention with Headlines

Come on, Nobody REALLY Reads Every Word

Most people are scanning the headlines and reading only the sections that apply to them. And even then, they usually only read the first couple sentences and move on, unless your content is incredibly engaging.

Make sure your headlines are clear, convincing, and edgy. After reading your headline and subheadline, the reader should know exactly what to expect in the article, blog section, or video.

Here’s more practical advice for you.
5) Know Your Audience

Don’t Try to Sell to Everybody

The more you know about your ideal customer the better.

Try picturing one specific person that your product or service is perfect for. What motivates him? What are his interests? What does he wear? How does he spend his time? When you start thinking like you’re selling to one individual instead of a group, you can attract a more specific audience that is likely to purchase from you many times, instead of trying to appeal to EVERYONE. You can start to be more detailed and unique with your words as well, versus saying generic phrases that everyone’s heard before.

Marketing is Always Changing

I’m pleased to see that marketing is turning towards giving and cultivating personal relationships. The days of interrupting people’s time to push YOUR agenda are over. Focus on long-term relationships, not short-term sales.

What has worked for your marketing strategies in the past? I’m always eager to learn more.

Drew Klebine: Content Marketer, Tech Writer, Philosopher, Musician

Drew Klebine is a Content Marketer, Tech Writer, Philosopher, and Musician from Pittsburgh, PA. His writings focus on modern marketing practices, software reviews, upcoming technologies, brand and product promotion, health, self-actualization, religion, and existential philosophy.

Lead writer and co-owner of uxax.org, where we help you understand the integration of user experience and analytics to power an amazing product.


What Is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology was originally created for a unique cryptocurrency called Bitcoin made by either a person or a collection of different people who is under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto.  They invented Blockchain as a base for their main creation Bitcoin, as that was the only way it would work. Who would’ve thought that his platform would be the one that is changing the game.

Just like everything else in the world, people have taken Blockchain and adapted it for more advanced and other uses, and it is now one of the most modern technology yet. Now, let’s get to what you really came here for; what is Blockchain technology?

A Blockchain is a log for all the transaction records inputted during a specific amount of time. It is made up of small blocks that has each transaction that occurred during that time as well as a HASH, which is essentially an identification code to differentiate every block.

Each block has a code because there is a limited amount of space in every one, so once filled it will move on to the next which is connected to it; hence the name Blockchain which refers to the chain of boxes linked together.

One of the best things about Blockchain is that it is decentralized, which means that there is no specific controller and all are individual. Because of that, if someone tries to hack into it, their block will be very different from the many others because they are all verified for legitimacy from the beginning.

All the blocks need to have a unanimity in the data, so when the hacker’s block shows up as different, it will be rejected and thrown out; this all makes Blockchain quite secure and durable against cyber attacks. The public also has the ability to go through any of the records to verify it themselves, which makes it very user friendly and also leaves an accessible paper trail which could help in auditability as there is the entire history of each transaction stored.

As mentioned previously, Bitcoin was the original use for Blockchain, but as the world keeps changing, so does its uses. Many people also use it for other important things such as stocks and bonds, voting, medical records, contracts and so many other valuable records one might need safe and secure.

Blockchain eliminates the use of a trusted third party (think of banks, accountants/ accounting software, the government, etc) so the users can exchange information directly between them which saves both time and money. There have been a few Blockchain tests against major Japan banks to determine if it really is faster and more efficient than wire transferring.

The answers is yes, it is. It did a good amount more transactions per second than the inter bank wire system did with a difference of doing only 14 transactions per Blockchains’ 15. There are still some flaws and weaknesses in this program unsurprisingly, such as the costs and energy consumption.

Overall, Blockchain is a highly developed technology that is being improved with each passing day and is reasonably believed to go in huge demand during the upcoming years.




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5 Success Lessons to Learn from J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is one the most famous authors in history, closely behind William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, and for obvious reasons. Not only has she wrote the award winning and exceptional Harry Potter series, she has also been a leader on guiding people to success with her own experiences. Here are 5 brilliant lessons that we could all learn from this remarkable author.

Stay Humble

As a wise man with the name of Kendrick Lamar once said, “Sit down, be humble.”, it looks like J.K. Rowling took it to heart, with good reason. There are many times when people who succeed in something, boast about it with their ego inflaming with every word they say. Of course it is understandable to be proud of an achievement, but there are certain limits.

Success can come easier to some people than other, and those who have it early on should be empathetic to other people. It is easy to get discouraged, especially when you see other people doing better than you, but everything takes times with the right amount of dedication and work that you put into it.

Staying humble is very important if you want to be successful because success is temporary. No one is perfect and it will take hard work to get it again. if for example, you bragged to everyone about how got a promotion and rubbed it into everyone’s faces, hardly anyone will want to help you reach even more.

A humble person like J.K. Rowling also has a higher chance of influencing people because of their good nature. She has vocally expressed her opinions (in a positive manner), donated a lot of her well earned wealth to charities, and she stands up for people in need. I don’t know about you, but I for one want to be like her.

Imagination Is Everything

As we get older, we are forced to stop daydreaming and to start thinking logically. Imagination is something for children anyways, right?

Not really. Imagination is something that every single person should have, especially when they want to succeed. I mean anybody can come up with a generic solution to their problems whether it be business related, or in their personal life, but a creative twist can really change the game for some things.

As Rowling herself said “Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not and therefore the fount of all invention…we have the power to imagine better.”, she clearly understands and states how our unique thoughts and perceptions could essentially change our lives.

Even If You Have a Job, Keep Chasing Your Dreams

Rowling had a job teaching at schools, but spent a majority of her spare time writing her first novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She was a single mother who was in poverty and did all she could to survive.

Writing has always been her passion; she finished her first book when she was just 6 years old (while many kids are learning how to read at this age). She always had a dream that she would be a published author when she is older, and with continuous hard work and dedication, it came true.

Not everyone can turn their hobby/passion, into a full time career. For her, it took ages to get where she is, and even then it wouldn’t happen top everyone. The main idea of this is to continue perusing your passion, but also work at a job that interests you. Why waste your life doing something that bores you to death when you could be doing literally anything else. You could even design your own free online accounting software for small businesses *wink*.

I’m not saying quit your day job to make a career in sewing, but continue doing it on the side unless you can make a legit income from it. In the meantime, you should still find a job that you wouldn’t mind waking up early in the morning to go to.

Take Responsibility 

Your life is your own and when you finally understand that, you will be so much better. Everyone has experiences when they were younger that shaped them into who they are, but you have a choice as you get older, to make your own mold.

“I do not blame my parents…there is an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected.” – J.K. Rowling. Whoever we were surrounded by and grew up around when we were kids are the ones who nurture us into what they want.

The day you realize you don’t have to be what they expect of you and find out what YOU want, is your first step to success. Developing as a person is just as important as anything else, if not more. You are going to be the one who let’s your environment and thoughts influence you decisions in the future.

Never Give Up

The most cliche lesson that everyone gives, yet the least followed; NEVER GIVE UP. As I mentioned earlier, Rowling landed on rock bottom before she started going to the top. Even when you think that nothing is going right and then universe is going against you, just know that like success, failure is temporary. Everyone has to fail, how else will we learn from our mistakes and get better?

It is a very famous fact that her first book was sent to 12 different publishers before Bloomsbury accepted her. Imagine getting rejected 12 times, I’m sure a lot of you would’ve felt defeated and probably given up by then (I know I would) but she is living proof that pushing through, even when all the odds seem against your favor, can lead to success.

Not everything will work out for the best though, but I certainly know that I would rather die knowing I tried hardest as I could, than giving up halfway wondering what could’ve been.




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5 Things to Make and Sell From Home

Whether you’re looking to making a quick few bucks or practice a new hobby, there are a lot of things you can make and sell from home. I’m going to be talking about five of the most popular, creative, and practical items you could profit from.

  1. Bath supplies

Bath bombs, salts, and soaps are prime examples of the kind of stuff people crave for today. There is a certain aesthetic that comes along with it; I mean did you really take an enjoyable bath if you don’t have a video of it fizzing in the water on your story, for proof?

It is relatively easy as well as cheap to make your own, especially if you do it in bulk; then you would have enough to sell online too for a quick profit. Safety comes first so don’t use ingredients that you yourself wouldn’t feel comfortable in, for other people.

  1. Jewelry

Jewelry is an item that people have been wearing for thousands of years, and it’s here to stay. Coming up with creative pieces is sure to get attention, especially if it is affordable. If you have a knack for designing, this may work well for you as long as you stay unique with your creations.

Make sure you think of the service when you do this and avoid using excessively cheap and bad material if you can, as the customer may not be happy if the final product isn’t up to its standards,

  1. Baked Goods and Candy

Everybody likes a good homemade cookie every now and then and there are many people who go online to search for their food for various reasons. If you enjoy baking or candy making, an original and creative product could help you gain “dough” for your wallet.

Of course, you need to be careful of the kind of ingredients you’re using and the packaging, assuming you would be shipping it to other places; write the ingredients on the label including other important information, as well as use stuff safe for long periods of time so it doesn’t spoil.

  1. Clothes

Clothes always have been and will continue to be one of the most popular item bought online. From designing your own shirts to jeans to socks and shoes, there is always someone out there who will love your product which means there is a relatively high demand for clothing all the times.

The price to make them may vary, but it’s your choice on how to price it. Keep in mind the price ranges of the people you are aiming to sell to as well so you make a healthy profit.

  1. Candles

Candles are either very expensive or bad quality, and this is where you come in. Thankfully they are quite easy to make where you can also put your own twist on things; add glitter, scents or a secret item in the inside. People will love the creativity of it and hopefully, the affordability.

Candles supplies are cheap but if you do make them, make sure you use precaution with other people’s safety in mind. Packaging, service, ingredients, and pricing are other factors you need to take into consideration as well.



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Do I Need Accounting Software?

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably asking yourself the question of ‘Do I need accounting software’?

Well, to be perfectly blunt, yes you do. That was easy, wasn’t it?

What’s that, you want to learn more about accounting software? Okay, fine, don’t worry, we’ll bring you up to speed.

Whether you freelance, or if you’re a large or small business owner, one of the biggest drains on your time and your resources, will be trying to tackle your finances yourself. Each year you will need to ensure that you have submitted your annual accounts, and failing to do so on time will result in a fine, and possibly even legal action as well.

Rather than spending endless hours tackling your books yourself, you may instead wish to consider investing in accounting software such as SlickPie. To help emphasize just how beneficial this software can be, below you’ll find an outline listing some of the main advantages users of this particular type of software can commonly benefit from.

Very cost-effective

Firstly, we’ll begin by focussing on the financial side of things, particularly in regards of just how much money accounting software can potentially save for you and your business.

You see, in the business world, time is money, and for every second you spend on trying to organize your accounts, get your receipts and books in order, and send out individual invoices to your clients, you are potentially losing money.

With accounting software, the software itself is incredibly cost-effective because not only is it cheap to purchase, you will also save a great deal of money further down the line. This is due to the fact that the software will help you save money in tax rebates and expenses, plus it means that you don’t have to employ accountants and bookkeepers, as it does everything for you.

The software will pay for itself in a matter of weeks when you consider how much money you will save, so if you’re looking for a great ROI, accounting software is perfect.

Improves accuracy

As meticulous and skillful with numbers as you, or your bookkeeper may be, human error is always a factor and is always a concern when it comes to dealing with your accounts. All it takes is one wrong calculation, one mistake, one slip of the pen, and your accounts could potentially be ruined, meaning that you would need to start over.

With accounting software, however, accuracy is guaranteed as it will carry out pretty much all of the calculations for you, eliminating the risks associated with human error. As calculations are performed automatically, you needn’t worry about trying to do them yourself, meaning you needn’t worry about getting them wrong.

Saves so much time

Time is a commodity that very few freelancers and business experts can afford, so if you can save time and still do your job as normal, you should do exactly that. Another tick in the box for going with accounting software is the fact that purchasing it will help save you so much time in the workplace.

The software does the jobs of multiple workers, with you barely needing to lift a finger. It helps you to manage receipts, you can organize important documents, you can find exactly what you need in seconds, you can track your finances, and you can even automatically invoice and bill your clients, and send reminders for late payments.

Yes, one humble piece of software can do all of this, and much more besides, leaving you with more free time on your hands so you can focus your attention on other aspects of your business.

In-depth analysis

As these are your finances you’re dealing with, obviously, you will want to know exactly what is going on with your accounts, and again, this is where this software is perfect. Accounting software is basically just like having your very own in-house accountant and financial advisor, with the added bonus of being able to pretty much guarantee that neither of them will ever make any mistakes or let you down.

You can benefit from fully customized reports which will give you an in-depth analysis of every aspect of your accounts and a general overview of your business in general. The data will be presented in a variety of different ways, particularly through things such as graphs, charts, tables, and percentages.

Having the ability to clearly see these numbers in black and white means that you can enjoy an in-depth analysis of your books so you can maintain complete control and you will constantly be kept in the loop.

Very secure

Let’s face it, these are your accounts we’re talking about here, so of course, you will want to ensure that everything is as safe and as secure as it can possibly be. Here we’re talking about your personal banking details, business banking details, possible employee info, customer info, and much more besides.

Obviously, you won’t want this information falling into the wrong hands, and with software such as SlickPie, you needn’t worry one tiny bit. Many leading brands of accounting software make security one of their main priorities, making it virtually impossible for cyber criminals to gain access to the info you don’t want them to have access to.

Never miss payments

Believe it or not, but there are freelancers and business owners out there who are not actually receiving the money that is owed to them, for various reasons, and this is not fair.

Whether it’s due to an unpaid invoice, a breakdown in communication, or a simple case of the freelancer/business owner being so busy that they forgot what was owed to them, people are losing money which they’re legally entitled to, and that is such a shame.

Accounting software helps to eliminate the risk of this happening because it keeps finances well organized so you can track who has paid you what, and when, plus it makes invoicing clients, and sending late payment reminders, a whole lot easier as well.










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How You Can Benefit from A.I Today

Years ago, artificial intelligence was the stuff purely of Sci-Fi blockbusters and was something that many of us never thought we’d ever see in our lifetimes. Fast-forward to the present day,  and here we are, with A.I now all around us and an everyday part of modern life.

The advances in modern technology over the last decade or so have been nothing short of amazing, and we are continuing to progress further and further with each passing day. In the business world, in particular, modern technology has proven to be extremely beneficial, especially when you consider the fact that years ago, we’d never heard of such a thing as accounting software or smart phones.

A.I has been the topic of many a heated debate as of late, yet rather than fearing A.I we should instead embrace it and use it to our advantage. When people hear the words Artificial Intelligence, they instantly think of killer robots becoming consciously aware, and of computers taking over the world.

In the real world, however, A.I is a lot less dramatic than that, and actually, it could be considered pretty boring. Necessary, yes, but boring all the same. Want to know how your business can benefit from artificial intelligence? Then make sure you keep reading.

Stay relevant

The business world is incredibly complex and competitive, with more and more businesses becoming increasingly competitive and innovative every single day. As A.I is now becoming more advanced, and because business owners are now seeing the true potential in A.I, a lot of them are utilizing it to their advantage.

If you fail to take advantage of A.I, you run the risk of being left behind, with your business/services becoming obsolete, and extinct, just like the dinosaurs. If you embrace change and utilize technology to your advantage, your business can not only stay relevant, you can also stay competitive so people will be less likely to choose your competitors as they will gravitate towards you instead.

Detailed analysis of data

If you want a great example of how A.I can help provide a detailed analysis of your business, take a look at accounting software such as SlickPie. The A.I utilized in accounting software is incredibly intelligent and hugely beneficial because it helps provide the user with a detailed breakdown of their finances and accounts.

Through various algorithms and calculations performed automatically, the software can tell you exactly where your money is coming and going, plus it can utilize various formulas to provide accurate financial predictions for the year ahead.

This is very useful when it comes to, say, applying for a loan because, with A.I, you can forecast potential earnings for the year ahead so you can help convince the loan-maker that investing in you would provide a healthy return on their investment.

Get to understand your target demographic

No matter which services and/or products you offer, whether you own a business or provide freelance services, you will all have a certain target demographic in mind. A sportswear company, for example, will be targeting physically active individuals with an interest in sport and fitness.

The more you understand about your target audience, however, the easier you will find it to fine-tune your services/products so that you can cater to them directly and more accurately. A.I software is incredibly useful in this respect because it is able to get to know your target audience.

The technology analyzes behavioral patterns and habits of potential customers and looks at things like what they’re looking for online when they search, and what they’re engaging with the most.

To expand upon the sportswear theme earlier, a sportswear company utilizing A.I could get to understand what types of sportswear products their customers seem to be excited about the most, and could subsequently offer them exactly what they want.

The more you know about your customers, the easier it becomes to give them exactly what they want. Google search is a perfect example of how A.I can get to understand its users and pick up on common themes and trends.

Increase your chances of making conversions

If you owned a shop on a busy high street, every working day you would probably have people walking in and browsing what you have to offer. In a perfect world, every single person that walked in would buy something from you, but of course, we don’t live in a perfect world so not everybody in your store will be willing to part with their money.

The same principle applies to freelancers and online business owners, and that is where A.I proves so useful. A.I performs detailed predictive analysis online and can basically make a prediction, based upon each individual’s browsing habits etc, as to whether or not they are likely to make a sale.

A.I can help business owners to increase leads based upon just how likely they will be to convert and make a purchase. Not only does A.I tell you how likely an individual will be to make a sale, it can also help teach you how to identify a number of key strategies which again, could increase your chances of making a sale, and making more money.

Maintain regular customers

A happy customer, as they say, is a returning customer, and the more regular customers you can obtain, the better. A.I tech is very useful in this regard because it can also help show you what your customers have been happy with from you, and it can show you what may have put them off slightly.

This means you can address issues which are letting you down, and you can focus on your strengths in the process. If your rivals are providing services similar to yours, but not identical, and your customers are perhaps showing an interest in these services, A.I can point this out for you, allowing you to tweak your business model somewhat to help ensure you keep your customers happy.













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5 of the Best Automation Tools for Small Businesses

Automation: By definition, the word means ‘automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, system, or process, by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor. Basically, automation is a process by which technology steps in and does the job of a human being, only quicker and more efficiently.

This may sound like the plot to a Sci-Fi Blockbuster, but don’t worry, it’s nowhere near as frightening as it may sound. If you’re a small business owner or a self-employed freelancer perhaps, you will only have so many pairs of hands and so many hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing.

Running any business, large or small, requires a lot of time and effort, and unfortunately, there are many business owners out there who sadly find themselves overwhelmed, and they literally cannot keep on top of everything that needs doing. Even with additional employees, there are some tasks that are very complex and very time-consuming, which is why automation is so useful.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

This may sound like the plot to a Sci-Fi Blockbuster, but don’t worry, it’s nowhere near as frightening as it may sound. If you’re a small business owner or a self-employed freelancer perhaps, you will only have so many pairs of hands and so many hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing.

Running any business, large or small, requires a lot of time and effort, and unfortunately, there are many business owners out there who sadly find themselves overwhelmed, and they literally cannot keep on top of everything that needs doing. Even with additional employees, there are some tasks that are very complex and very time-consuming, which is why automation is so useful.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

Running any business, large or small, requires a lot of time and effort, and unfortunately, there are many business owners out there who sadly find themselves overwhelmed, and they literally cannot keep on top of everything that needs doing. Even with additional employees, there are some tasks that are very complex and very time-consuming, which is why automation is so useful.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.


If you’re a small business owner and you aren’t yet using HubSpot, boy are you missing out! HubSpot is ideal in terms of sales and marketing, though it also provides users with numerous educational benefits as well. You see, the software makes use of marketing data provided in real time, to help you expand your reach and get a better idea of whom your target demographic may be.

This, in turn, helps to follow up on leads and to generate sales, so of course, from a business perspective, it’s perfect. HubSpot also allows users to track their growth via pre-determined goals and objectives. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, HubSpot is perfect.

You see, the software makes use of marketing data provided in real time, to help you expand your reach and get a better idea of whom your target demographic may be. This, in turn, helps to follow up on leads and to generate sales, so of course, from a business perspective, it’s perfect.

HubSpot also allows users to track their growth via pre-determined goals and objectives. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, HubSpot is perfect.


Accounting software is an absolute blessing for freelancers and small business owners, yet bizarrely, some people out there are just not using it to their full advantage, or worse still, at all. SlickPie is one of the most popular forms of accounting software currently on the market, and it is proving to be an incredibly valuable commodity for business owners.

SlickPie is ideal because it allows users to keep track of their finances as they can monitor incomings and outgoings, they know when money is coming in and going out, plus it allows users to send automatic invoices to various clients, with follow up reminders if necessary. For freelancers and small business owners dealing with overseas clients, SlickPie is great because it enables users to send and receive money in the currency of their choice.

Getting your accounts in order is a full-time job in itself, yet with SlickPie, it’s as easy as having your very own accountant on the team, with the added bonus being that they never make mistakes and never let you down. To ensure you stay on the taxman’s good side, make SlickPie a part of your business model and see just how much easier everything becomes.


Hootsuite is another very popular automation tool that is perfect for small business owners looking to expand their social media reach and get a firm grasp on all things social. Hootsuite is a piece of software which is dedicated to automating a business’ engagement on various social media platforms in more than 35 countries across the world.

In particular, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all can be utilized very effectively when you use Hootsuite to your advantage. The software helps to identify some of the key influencers in your chosen market, it provides useful tips and strategies designed to increase engagement across multiple platforms, and best of all, if your budget is tight, there is a completely free plan for business owners to take advantage of, with the possibility of upgrading their plan if they feel so inclined to do so.


Spokal is ideal for businesses utilizing WordPress, which is pretty much every business you can think of in this day and age. Spokal is one of the most popular inbound marketing platforms currently available, and it is one of the best automation tools for small businesses that you could ever wish for.

Spokal supplies users with powerful SEO marketing tools designed to help improve local and global search engine rankings to ensure that your blog is receiving the attention you will have been hoping it would receive.

Best of all is the fact that Spokal has been designed to integrate with numerous other tools and pieces of software, making it very user-friendly and very efficient.


And finally, before we bring this article to a close, we’ll finish off by looking at MailChimp. MailChimp is the only email marketing solution you will ever need, and it also happens to be extremely affordable.

MailChimp allows users to target potential customers based solely on their preferences, their online behavior, and of course, on past sales. MailChimp also integrates with many other useful automation tools and pieces of software, including Spokal, so if you’re thinking of getting either, you would be best off using them both so as to benefit from the best of both worlds.

MailChimp also integrates with many other useful automation tools and pieces of software, including Spokal, so if you’re thinking of getting either, you would be best off using them both so as to benefit from the best of both worlds.


















Image: GraphicStock

5 Key Things to Know About Business Accounting

In business, accounting is, and forever will be, an essential component that must never, ever, be overlooked, no matter what. Despite this, there are a number of business owners, and freelancers for that matter, that, unfortunately, overlook the importance of having their accounts in order, and sadly, they end up paying the price.

If they’re lucky, it simply means that they perhaps receive a small fine and have to redo everything or hire an accountant to do their accounts for them. In some instances though, things are more serious and they may find themselves under investigation and be facing potential criminal charges for fraud.

Now, do you see how important it is to get your accounts in order? As daunting as it may seem, with the correct tools, systems, and assistance in place, keeping tabs on your business accounts is a fairly simple process.

To ensure that you get a handle on your accounts, have a read of the following and take a look at these 5 things to know about business accounting.

Receipts should always be kept and filed properly

When it comes to your finances and business accounts, no matter how small you consider your business to be, you are still a business and you should still adhere to the rules and laws just like everybody else. This may seem like a pointless and time-consuming job, but it is a necessity nevertheless, and it will make life so much easier for you in the future.

If for example, you run out of paper and need to buy a new notepad, even though it will only cost a few bucks, don’t throw the receipt in the trash, keep it and file it correctly. You should also make sure that you have an efficient filing system in place.

A lot of business owners hold onto their receipts, but fail to file them properly. They often simply cram them into a drawer or envelope and then shut them out of sight. Sure they’ve kept them, but if they’re then audited and they’re asked to produce a specific receipt, sorting through endless piles of receipts can take an age.

The system you use will depend on you, though you could consider making use of accounting software such as SlickPie, which will let you track, file, and organize your receipts in seconds.

Accounting software is virtually essential

As we previously touched upon, accounting software can make life much easier for freelancers and small business owners alike. Accounting software is a fantastic example of how automation in the workplace can be beneficial. Software such as SlickPie has been designed specifically to help businesses and workers organize their accounts and finances.

The software basically provides all of the benefits of having your very own accountant on your team, with the added bonus of guaranteeing that there are no mistakes made due to human error. The software saves time as it organizes your finances and accounts, it performs simple calculations and formulas for you, it helps you to send, receive, and manage receipts and invoices, and much more besides.

Whether you want a general overview of your accounts, or if you’re searching for one specific invoice or receipt, accounting software will help you find what you’re looking for in seconds.

You must ensure you keep accurate and reliable records

Another thing to remember in regards to your finances and accounts is that you must make sure you keep reliable and accurate records at all times. By this, we don’t simply mean you should keep bank statements whenever you remember, we mean pretty much everything should be kept and organized, which again, is another reason to invest in accounting software.

The records you keep should not only display direct debits and standing orders, they should tell you where your money is being spent, where your incomings are incoming from and when, which items you purchased with which cards, and much more besides.

You basically need to know where your money is coming from and where, where it is going, and how it has been used to help expand the business. You can try to do this on paper, though ideally you should get with the times and do things digitally.

Invoicing must be accurate

In the business world, invoicing is an incredibly important component that must never be overlooked. If you thought an invoice was just a technical way of reminding your clients to pay you, you are very much mistaken. Invoices serve as important records detailing the specific terms of each transaction you have made with each of your clients.

As these are important records you must make sure that all of the info you have entered is correct, as the last thing you want to do is get onto the wrong side of the taxman. An accurate invoice should state the services you have provided, the agreed upon amount you are due to receive, when the payment should be made by, and any other terms and conditions you would like to include.

Accurate invoices are also important because they help to clear up any discrepancies regarding payments between you and your client. If you previously agreed upon a specific sum, and your client is adamant that it is too much, you can simply refer back to a previous invoice and amicably clear everything up.

Profit and loss statements should also be scheduled

To help give you a general overview of your business finances and to see just how well you’re doing, profit and loss statements are ideal. These statements show you which areas of your business have yielded a profit and how much you have made, plus they show if you’ve made any losses, and again, where these losses were made.

Now, these statements could be quarterly, they could be annual, they could be bi-annually, or they could be monthly. The thing to remember is that they must always be kept because you can see where you’re doing well, and you can see where improvements may be required.












Image: GraphicStock