If you are wondering whether or not you really need to prepare financial statements when you already know your business is profitable, the answer is definitely yes. You may be convinced that your business is doing fine, but you will need proof for investors, creditors, shareholders, government agencies, and essentially you will also need it for your own peace of mind. Feeling successful is great, but seeing the facts and figures in front of you that prove your success is empowering!
Better Decision Making
Financial statements are vital for making crucial business decisions. You should be reviewing more than just your bank statements whenever you are considering whether or not you can afford to invest money back into your business. Financial statements will give you a clear and accurate visual of how your business is currently performing, so you have a means of monitoring its progress and identifying opportunities for growth.
More On-time Payments
Financial reports like accounts receivables are essential for ensuring customers pay on time and account payable reports will make sure that your vendors are paid on time. It will also give you a reference point to predict your future cash flow.
Prepared for Tax Time
Regularly updated financial statements will keep your information neatly organized for tax time. You don’t want to realize that all you have is a shoebox full of receipts on April 14th. Regular financial reporting means your accounting software is also being updated regularly.
Provide Proof of Your Success
Financial statements will act as a historical record of the overall success of a business, if there is ever a decision to sell the business or obtain new investors. New clients and suppliers may also request financial statements while trying to determine if they should conduct business with your company.
Catch Costly Mistakes
A set schedule for reviewing your financial statements will help catch mistakes earlier. They can also help an owner detect theft, fraud, or illegal activities within their business. You can hire a professional accountant or a bookkeeper, or an entire finance department, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t need to be involved. As much as you want to trust the person who is handling your finances, you need to be watchful for any discrepancies.
Fortunately, if you use an online invoice software, you will be able to access instant and accurate financial statements from anywhere with internet access. It will make it easier to track clients, enter new invoices, manage expenses, and review reports while making crucial business decisions. Financial statements are so important to the success of your business, but they can be easy and accessible if you have the right software.
An invoice is more than just a receipt with a total at the bottom. It is a professional document that signifies the completion of a project or sales transaction. It is also the last impression you make on a client, so it is crucial that it is an accurate reflection of your company’s brand and high standards.
The art and science behind creating a modern invoice is based on the expectation of today’s consumers. Besides having a defined and consistent style, there are also certain fundamentals that every modern invoice should include. Double check your own invoices against this list to make sure that your clients are able to find all the answers they need on your invoices.
Every invoice should be dated the day it is issued. This will make it easier to keep track of the due date and it will provide proof of when it was sent. If you use a client billing app, the date will be automatically generated and the app will keep a record of when the invoices was emailed to the client.
Make sure to number each invoice in the order they are issued. This will make it easier for referencing later on. It will also give you milestones to celebrate like your 100th or 1000th invoice.
The description you use on an invoice needs to explain to both you and your client exactly what each charge entails. You may need to refer back to the invoice months or years down the road and it will be important that you can recall the product or service that you were invoicing based solely on the description.
Breakdown of All Charges
Your clients will expect to see line items for each unique charge, so they can match up each product or service with its corresponding price, especially if there are charges on the invoice for both products and services.
Bold Invoice Total
Once each charge is broken down and the taxes are added in, there should be a bolder or larger invoice total that stands out compared to the rest of the figures. It is usually found in the bottom right hand corner of the invoice.
Terms and Due Date
You should always include the agreed upon terms and due date directly underneath or next to the invoice total. This will make it easier for your client to reference the amount that is due and when they need to pay it.
There should be a line on every invoice thanking your client for their loyalty. All it takes is a simple statement saying “we appreciate your business,” to make a client feel like your company cares.
Professional Organized Appearance
Make sure to double check your invoice before you send it, so there are no spelling or calculation errors. You can reduce your chances of making errors by using a client billing app, since they provide you with auto-fill-in options and automatic calculations. You should also make sure the invoice is well-organized and that it reflects your brand image.
Good Luck and Happy Invoicing!
Managing any type of business in today’s competitive marketplace is challenging and small business owners have enough to worry about without stressing over their bookkeeping. Entering receipts and invoices always seems to be an afterthought or the lowest priority item on your to-do list, but you can’t ignore them forever. You don’t want to wait until tax time to figure out your finances.
That is why I recommend online bookkeeping software for all small business owners. It is the fastest and easiest way to stay on top of your small business’ finances. It will give you an organized system for managing all of your estimates, client information, payables, receivables, and financial reporting.
Accessible & Convenient
Managing your bookkeeping and invoicing online offers real convenience since it is accessible from anywhere. All of your information is kept online, so you can reference important financial reports, update receivables, enter invoices, and analyze your cash flow using any device with internet access. This will allow you to make sound financial decisions using accurate figures wherever and whenever an opportunity or challenge presents itself.
Online bookkeeping software allows you to quickly enter invoices into pre-set templates and then email them directly to your clients. This capability means that you can finish a project, enter the invoice, update your financial report with the new receivable amount, and place the invoice in the client’s hands all within a matter of minutes. Most online bookkeeping software programs will also request a read receipt for each invoice, so you can be sure the client has seen it.
Enter Expense Receipts
Online bookkeeping also means you can immediately enter your expense receipts as they occur instead of collecting a pile of different restaurant and gas receipts while you are travelling and then waiting until you get back to the office to enter them. You still need to keep a copy for tax purposes, but at least you won’t be scrambling at tax time to make sure that you have accounted for all of your expenses.
Saves Time & Money
Online bookkeeping software has auto-fill entry and calculation features that will save time and its ability to email invoices directly to your clients will reduce the amount of money you spend on paper, envelopes, and stamps. It is also so fast and easy-to-use that you won’t have the expense of hiring a bookkeeper or an accountant.
Small businesses should manage their bookkeeping online because it is easy, accessible, convenient, and it allows for instant invoicing and receipt entry. It truly is a great way to save time and money, while ensuring that all of your financial obligations are met.
University and college students will often complain about having to buy brand new books each year because their educational institution has once again changed the curriculum. Although some information will remain consistent as time passes on, it is necessary to update business curriculum on a yearly basis because technology is constantly changing the way professionals conduct business. Although introducing new textbooks are an excellent way for schools to generate revenue, they are also essential for teaching the latest concepts and practices.
Technology is always creating better ways to manage a business and in most cases, last year’s best practices are no longer relevant. In fact, almost every aspect of running a business has experienced a major change in the last few years.
Here are a few reasons why business curriculum is constantly changing:
Changes to Marketing Best Practices
Ask a person who graduated from a business marketing program in 2000 what advertising strategies they learned and then ask a graduate from 2010 and 2013. A 2000 textbook didn’t cover SEO, marketing automation, or social media strategies. Advertising to individuals using websites and online ads was just starting to gain popularity and it was only briefly explained in the textbooks from thirteen years ago.
Even three years ago in 2010, there wasn’t much of a focus on mobile apps, which are now a hot marketing commodity for all major businesses. The course curriculum for marketing and advertising students has changed drastically with the rise of internet giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. There is also no doubt that technology and cloud-based capabilities will take marketing even farther in the future.
Changes to Accounting Technology
Accounting practices have seen drastic changes in the last few decades, especially since the introduction of online accounting software. Businesses can now access and update their financials from anywhere that has internet access. These online invoicing programs also offer automatic calculations and report generation, so today’s business curriculum can be more focused on how to interpret financial statements instead of how to create them.
Changes to Purchasing Practices
The popularity of online shopping and e-commerce has led to considerably more options for professional purchasers. The ability to source products globally using the internet has also made the quotation process significantly easier. More modern purchasers begin their research online where they can request product specs and quotes without having to meet in person with a variety of different vendors.
Changes to the Sales Process
People no longer need to come visit your storefront or meet with you in person to be converted into loyal customers. E-commerce technology allows businesses to secure and process sales directly online. Business curriculum has changed to incorporate the importance of secure and efficient online sales transactions for e-commerce.
The business world is constantly evolving and the curriculum that is being taught to the next generation has to keep up with it. Although no student wants to pay for brand new books every year, it is the only way to stay on top of all the latest technology.
The world of business technology is constantly changing. There are always new software applications being introduced and more efficient online techniques being developed daily. Industry leaders, innovative entrepreneurs, and tech-savvy professionals are always coming up with new ideas to make managing your business easier. If small business owners are not constantly educating themselves on new methods and technology, they will miss out on countless time and money saving solutions.
In this economy, business owners can’t afford to ignore any opportunity that could improve their bottom-line. This article will cover many innovative and efficient recent breakthroughs that will prove why continuous learning is essential for small business owners.
New & improved methods of marketing
The best practices for marketing from ten years ago are completely different from today’s best practices. In fact, even strategies that worked two or three years ago are no longer considered the best methods for promoting your business. Advertising and marketing a business globally has changed drastically with the increasing popularity of online shopping and social media networking. Small business owners must actively study new techniques to stay competitive.
The internet offers businesses access to a global audience at a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional worldwide advertising campaigns. By creating a dynamic website filled with powerful SEO content and then marketing the site using social media, small businesses can sell their products and services anywhere in the world. Many online marketing specialists have developed proven systems for using these new marketing opportunities to increase revenue. Smart business owners will take the time to learn these systems and apply them to their own business.
New & improved methods for bookkeeping
There are so many new online invoicing solutions that will make it easier to manage the finances for your small business. A few years ago, almost every business had a stationary software program that could only be accessed from one computer or a single internal network of computers. Invoices were generated in Microsoft Word, and customized spreadsheets were created in Excel. That inconvenient method of using various programs wastes a significant amount of time and money.
Online invoicing provides comprehensive software solutions where you can enter and send invoices from anywhere that has internet access. All calculations are done automatically and reports are instantly updated with each entry. You can also create customized reports, email invoices directly to your clients, and send follow-up reminder notices before the invoice is due.
Customer’s expectations are constantly increasing
Since consumers have the power to shop anywhere in the world, they have high standards when it comes to the companies they choose. Continuous learning is necessary to understand your customer’s expectations and how to meet them. For example, testimonials and solid online evidence to prove all of your marketing claims is essential to show your small business has a trustworthy reputation. If you don’t have a recognizable brand, it will be harder for new customers to accept that your product or service is legitimate and worthwhile.
Every small business owner should spend 30 minutes each day on researching new ways of improving how they run their business. Continuous learning should be considered a necessary investment in the future of their business. Technology, marketing, accounting, and consumer expectations are going to constantly change. Small business owners need to change with it.
It is often said that why you continue to do things the same way, you will continue to see the same results. When it comes to business, the results will actual decrease over time. While you are continuing to do the same thing, your competitors are learning better techniques, and stealing a piece of your pie. Continuous learning is essential for small business owners to maintain or grow their market share.
Have you ever dreamt of working in a lounge chair on a beachfront resort?
That fantastic dream is now more possible than ever! Thanks to the vast capabilities of the internet, anyone can work from anywhere using a laptop (or any mobile device) and a Wi-Fi connection. You can make purchases, promote your business, manage your accounting, and process sales all using web-based software programs.
There are so many online services designed to help you manage your business using only an internet connection. Even brick and mortar businesses can manage their marketing, sales, and finances from anywhere that has an internet connection. It allows them to work from home or while they are traveling, so they don’t need to drive to the office just to get something done. This convenience and flexibility will improve your efficiency and provide you with a better work/life balance.
Managing Your Accounting Online from Anywhere
You can relax on a beach, close a business deal, create the invoice, send it to the client, and send update financial reports showing the new sale to your potential investors all in a matter of minutes. Web-based accounting software is an efficient and effective way to manage all of your business’ finances from anywhere.
Market Your Business Online from Anywhere
A dynamic website, a strong social media presence, and a high ranking on search engines is all you need to promote your company globally. It is estimated that 70% of people begin their buying process by researching products and services online. The internet is the best place to market your business, plus all the marketing tools that you will need to attract new customers can also be accessed online.
Conduct Sales Online from Anywhere
E-commerce is quickly gaining in popularity and it now accounts for billions of dollars in sales each year. If you are interested in working from home, you will need to understand how to safely and securely process sales and payments online. You can find great tips for running the sales and e-commerce side of your business at Ecommercetimes.com.
Access Files Online from Anywhere
Another web-based option that is making in more convenient to work from anywhere is online file storage. This allows you to open a file from anywhere. All of your important documents are saved online, giving you the power to work on them outside of the office. It also makes it easier for document sharing.
The ability to work from anywhere opens up new doors and possibilities. It provides flexibility and personal freedom. It allows you to manage, market, and sell your product or service to a global audience from anywhere with an internet connection. It is not surprising that it is leading to more entrepreneurs and home-based businesses.
Managing your small business’ finances is now incredibly easy and convenient. There are so many new web-based solutions available and they are revolutionizing the world of business and money management. The internet can assist you in managing your small business finance from the initial start-up loan to processing the final invoice and payment.
Here are a few ways the internet can be used to manage your small business finances:
More people are now pursuing their dream of entrepreneurship because of the many online capabilities and services. It is easier than ever to find potential investors to back your business, thanks to crowdsourcing websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. These resources have helped launch thousands of small business who weren’t able to raise the required capital using traditional methods.
There is no longer a need to purchase an expensive accounting program that is only accessible from one computer. There are many companies online that provide web-based accounting capabilities and some of these providers even offer basic starter packages at no charge. These programs allow you to track your income and expenses, as well as produce accurate and updated financial reports whenever the need arises.
In the past, a company would create an invoice in Microsoft Word, print three copies of it, mail one to the client, and then enter the invoice details into the accounting program. This process was time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, small business owners can now quickly generate an invoice using online invoice software and email it directly to the client without having to switch programs. This service will also automatically store the information from the invoice into the accounting portion of the software, so there is no need for double entry.
The internet even allows customers to make purchases directly online. Businesses can setup online purchase order forms on their website to process sales requests. This should increase sales since customers can research a product or service online and then immediately buy it without having to leave the website they are on.
Once a sale is made, the payment for it can also be done online. Google Wallet and PayPal give consumers the ability to spend money online and providers like Square offer businesses credit card processing capabilities using the internet.
The internet makes it easier to stay in touch with business contacts, promote your business, and manage all of the necessary financial requirements. It has truly revolutionized the way businesses find investors, manage their accounting, handle invoicing, process sales, and payment.
Accounting for a business is more complicated than just subtracting your expenses from your revenue. If you have ever attempted to manage your accounting on your own without using a good accounting software program, then you understand just how complex it can be. There are so many things to consider and monitor which makes it a necessary for business owners to take advantage of all of the modern best practices for accounting.
Here are a few of the best practices for modern accounting:
No More Pen & Paper
Hopefully, you are already using some form of software rather than manually recording everything, but there are other things that you can do to make it more cost-efficient. If you are still printing several copies of each invoice and mailing one to your client, it’s time to switch to email. By emailing it directly you will save time, plus the cost of paper, envelopes, and stamps. It will automatically also save a copy for your records in your sent folder, so there is no need to print one.
Keep Track of Your Books Online
Using an online customer billing app instead of using regular email will make it even more cost-efficient. There are helpful free billing applications available that can be used to prepare, send, and track all of your receivables. The variable details of each invoice are entered into the program and the rest of the work is done for you.
Ensure Your Accounting is Always Accessible
Modern business can be conducted from anywhere at any time. It will make it easier to properly manage your company if you are able to monitor and review your finances from any computer. This is another valuable benefit of using an online customer billing app.
Organization & Consistency are Essential
Your clients will expect professionalism in everything from the initial quote to the final invoice. Your investors and creditors will also expect well-organized and accurate financial reporting. Modern accounting practices must ensure consistency, functionality, and easily interpreted financial information.
Less Time-Consuming & Expensive Accounting Management
Time-saving software programs will make it easy to manage your accounting without needing to hire outside help. Most businesses can manage their company’s financials by simply spending 20 to 30 minutes each week entering invoices and reviewing their financial reports. There is no need to hire a fulltime bookkeeper or an expensive accountant to manage the day-to-day responsibilities.
Modern best practices for accounting are all focused on cutting costs and saving time. It is also about taking advantage of new technology like an online customer billing app to manage all aspects of your accounting more efficiently.
It is shocking to learn how many businesses are still manually creating their invoices and using outdated invoicing software programs. There are so many more efficient ways to generate invoices and keep tracking of your company’s financial information. In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses need to invest in better technology like online billing to save their company valuable time and money.
These are the 10 Advantages of Billing Clients Online:
1. Online Billing Offers Mobility
Billing clients online gives users unparalleled convenience and accessibility. It allows you to create an invoice at anytime from anywhere with Wi-Fi access. You can email an invoice the moment a job is complete using a mobile device or a home computer. You can also access valuable online invoicing reports while traveling, so you always have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.
2. Invoice Calculations are Done Automatically
There is no need to second guess totals when an automated computer program is doing the calculations as each figure is entered into the system. This will save you from manual calculation and entry, which will also reduce the chance of potential errors.
3. Invoices always look professional and consistent
Every quote, invoice, and letter is a representation of your business. Billing clients online using predetermined templates will make everything that everything looks uniformed and well-organized.
4. Invoices can be emailed directly to the client
Another benefit of online billing is that there is no waiting for invoices to arrive via traditional snail mail. This will put invoices in the client’s hands sooner, so any issues or concerns can be quickly answered without delaying payment.
5. Save money on paper, envelope, and stamps
Most companies who don’t bill clients online will end up printing various copies of each invoice for their files, as well as sending their client a copy in the mail. Billing clients online securely stores the information from each invoice online, so there is never a need to print a copy. You also won’t need to purchase stamps and envelopes.
6. You can request a read receipt, so you know it has been read
Billing clients online eliminates the old excuse that the invoice must have been “lost in the mail.” Most online billing software programs will automatically request a read receipt, so the client will need to confirm that they have it in their hands.
7. Send client automatic reminder notices before invoices are due
Online billing also gives you the ability to email clients professional reminder notices prior to an invoice being due. These gentle reminders will improve a company’s chance of being paid on time.
8. Instantly updates all of your financial reports as soon as the invoice is generated
Every time a payable or receivable is entered, every corresponding financial report is automatically updated. This will ensure that all reports are current and as accurate as possible whenever they are needed.
9. Manage client contact information and billing from the same location
Billing clients online combines the contact details, purchasing history, credit balance, and payment terms for every customer in one central location. Project managers and sales professionals can access any information they need from anywhere with the click of a mouse.
10. Check outstanding receivables from anywhere at any time
If you are considering making a new purchase or possibly extending additional credit to a client, online billing will give you an updated receivable report on your PC or mobile device. This will make it easier to make informed decisions for your business no matter where you are physically.
Running your own business is never easy, especially in a tough economy. We live and work in a global marketplace and that makes for fierce competition. Fortunately, running a business has become significantly more manageable for people who have learned to master the latest technology.
Technology is designed to make things faster, simpler, and more cost-effective. In 2013, successful business owners will need to understand how the internet, online business services, automated software programs, and social networking can be used to grow and improve on their existing operations.
Here are some tips on how to be successful at running a business in 2013:
Perform a Quick Online Search
All it takes is entering three words into your favorite search engine once a week; trends in technology. The results will be helpful tips like 13 Top Trends for 2013, or websites that review and compare the latest trends like Digitaltrends.com. All it takes is fifteen minutes each week to read the first few articles that appear and then brainstorm ways you could apply those trends to your own business.
Understanding SEO & Keywords
In the same manner that you just performed a search to look for trends in technology, your potential customers are online searching for the products and services they need. It is important that business owners understand the keywords their leads are using and apply them powerful and purposeful SEO content.
Consumers will choose words that explain their problem, “need lower back pain relief“ rather than searching for several potential cures like physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractor, herbal remedies, or back-strengthening exercises. In 2013, the focus of keywords is on the customer`s needs instead of describing the product or service itself.
Need a Strong Online Presence
A website is not enough to be noticed. To be successful at running a business in 2013, you will also need a strong social media presence. Your company should have profiles and followers on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. The key is to create engaging videos or irresistible promotions that will inspire people to share or respond.
Use Online Software & Technology
To be successful at running a business in 2013, you should take advantage of any time saving online programs that you can find. For example, an online invoicing system will make it more convenient to update your books from anywhere, it will be faster and most cost-effective to send invoices, and it is simpler to use than traditional accounting programs.
Think Outside the Box
The global market we live in is highly competitive and businesses need to stand out to stay profitable. Although it is necessary to look for trends, it is more beneficial to set the trends. Be creative and spend a little time each week thinking of new ways to improve your current processes. Thinking outside the box will be essential to success in 2013.
Successfully running a business in 2013 will be challenging due to the economy and global marketplace. If you look for technology trends from industry leaders, work on SEO with the right keywords, enhance your online presence, take advantage of online software, and think outside the box you will improve your chances of being successful.