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The CBA Blog brings you tips and tricks and general information for Peachtree & Sage 50 accounting software.
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Don't be Spooked by Year End... Be Prepared!

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It's Halloween and the end of the accounting year is rapidly approaching for calendar year companies so here are 10 items you can do NOW to make your year-end more of a treat:

        1. Review your Sage 50 1099 Vendor report on the screen, select the Columns button from the top menu bar and add the Tax ID Number column to the report.  Look for vendors who dont have a Tax ID Number and who will be paid more than $600 this year for certain products and services. You will need their federal ID number in order to send 1099 forms by January 31, 2014. Obtain the information by requesting them to send you an IRS form W-9 and remember to fill in the Tax ID number on the vendor maintenance record when you receive the completed W-9 form.

        2. Review your Sage 50 Balance Sheet and your Sage 50 Aged Receivables and Aged Payables reports and make sure the Aged Receivables and Aged Payables reconcile to your Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable account(s) on your balance sheet.  If they dont reconcile research why and make the necessary corrections.

        3. Review your Sage 50 Inventory Valuation report and make sure it ties out to the Inventory Accounts on your Balance Sheet.  If they dont reconcile research why and make the necessary corrections.  Also get your physical inventory plans in place!

        4. Review your General Ledger report filtered for all your fixed asset accounts for the current year and make sure all of your major purchases for non-consumable items are posted to these accounts and ready for your CPA to review.  This information will be important for tax purposes.

        5. In 2013, you can deduct the entire cost of certain business asset purchases up to $500,000. If you have purchases you are contemplating discuss them with your CPA or tax advisor there may be tax benefits if you make the purchase before the end of the year.

        6. Identify all of the year end reports youll need and put them into a Report Group in Sage 50 so they'll be easy to select and run when needed.  If there are custom reports you know youll require look at getting them set-up using Sage 50s Intelligence Reporting capability.

        7. Review your Sage 50 Aged Receivables report for past due accounts older than 30 days beyond the original payment terms that may be uncollectible.  Flag the accounts and take the next steps in the collection process as quickly as possible.  If they arent paid by the end of the year discuss with your CPA or tax advisor about writing them off as bad debt.

        8. Back up your data and also restore your data file to test your backups and ensure theyre good.  You may want to consider signing up for Sage 50 Online Backup to store your important data online.

        9. If youre running payroll in-house make sure your Sage 50 software and corresponding payroll tax tables are updated by November 30th you may need to be on a Sage 50 Business Care plan.

        10. Get your tax forms on order W-2s, 1099-Misc, envelopes and any other tax forms youll require should be ordered by the end of November to make sure you receive them on time.  You may also want to order checks if youre getting low youll get to expense them in 2013 and prices may also be going up the first of the year.

          CBA can assist with any or all of the items above to make sure you have a spook free Halloween and year-end!

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Seven Reasons to Outsource Your Bookkeeping

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Do bookkeeping chores take too much time away from your core business? Is employing a bookkeeper cost-prohibitive? If so, outsourced bookkeeping may be the perfect solution. It will help you:

Reduce overhead costs.

Employing a bookkeeper in-house is expensive. The cost includes not just salary and benefits, but other expenses like payroll taxes and hiring and training a new employee. By outsourcing your bookkeeping you will be able to reduce employee headcount, avoid delays due to sick days and turnover, and minimize staff costs associated with training and benefits.

Save on computers, software and technical support expenses.

There is no need to buy extra hardware and software for your accounting needs when you outsource your bookkeeping.The upfront cost of computers, software and troubleshooting these systems will add expense and require your business to learn new non-essential competencies.

Save time.

You did not go into business to run an accounting department, or even worse, do books yourself. Many small business owners struggle with tasks that are outside their area of expertise, like bookkeeping, while they would prefer to spend more time on their core businesses. By outsourcing your accounting chores, you can stop wasting valuable time and concentrate on the reasons you went into business in the first place. Let a professional take care of your bookkeeping needs so youll have more time to focus on what you do best.

Manage less.
Most business owners can only effectively manage a handful of staff. Consider hiring as many people as you can manage to carry out revenue-generating tasks and outsourcing other functions, including bookkeeping. The management activities required for each additional staff person you hire requires significant time expended for training, personnel issues, salary negotiations, firing and hiring. Outsource and that time can be reinvested elsewhere.

Increase effectiveness.

Counting money wont make more money.If you have spare time to build in-house accounting teams, inject it into the areas of the business which make money like your sales team. Outsourcing is not a perfect system, but compared to the alternatives it is far more effective.

Understand your business better.

Outsourced professionals can help you understand your business better where your biggest profits (and losses) are, how much you have spent on marketing, how healthy your cash flow is looking. Having this kind of information to hand is vital if you are to make the best decisions for your business and ensure its success.

Unbiased advice.
In times of financial crisis, tough decisions need to be made. An outsourced bookkeeper will be more impartial than an in-house person, and will probably give you unbiased advice. Suppliers are also easier to let go of than staff.


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1/8/2014 7:34:51 PM 
MyRQB 1/8/2014 7:34:51 PM 
I agree. By outsourcing your bookkeeping you will be able to reduce employee headcount, avoid delays due to sick days and turnover, and minimize staff costs associated with training and benefits. In this way, business owners can run a business successfully.

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Analysis Paralysis

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When it comes to Business Intelligence (BI), you can drive yourself crazy trying to stay on top of all of the information that needs to be analyzed. Just when you think you have a handle on the ins and outs of your business, someone comes along and says "inventory turns are dead" or "its revenue per employee that matters most."   Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the key drivers of your business and how they relate to employee compensation.  Even the experts disagree.  Inc. Magazine says ethical behavior is the critical measure, while Forbes says you need to measure your marketing activities. The pressure to find the perfect measure can get so overwhelming that you just give up. 

Forget trying to keep up with those analytical Joneses!   When it comes to actionable business intelligence, less can actually be more. A few quality reports can take the place of untold stacks of meaningless data. And don't try to figure everything out the first time; you can choose a few measures to start with and then modify them over time.

Here's how to avoid analysis paralysis:

Start with your key business objective.

Key Objective = Increase Revenue

Identify the factors that influence your ability to achieve it.

  • Sell more to existing customers
  • Increase marketing activities
  • Close more sales

List activities you might do in support of each factor.

Sell more to existing customers.   Identify customer preferences and design targeted email campaigns and promotions. Analyze customers by geography and consider sponsoring a local event or activity. Consider offering add-on products or services that complement existing sales.

Decide what you can measure for each activity.

Identify customer preferences and design targeted email campaigns and promotions.

Measures:

  • Top items sold in the last six months by revenue or by quantity
  • Number of emails per period to each customer
  • Open rate of emails, conversion rate (number of sales/number of opens)
  • Number of promotions offered, number of sales using promo codes

Identify the data sources for the measures identified above.

You can find information on the top items purchased in the last six months by revenue and by quantity in Sage 50. You can also determine the number of items purchased at a promotional price using invoicing data. We can help you determine the best way to structure your data and design reports.

Start analyzing the information you have captured.

If after six months you are not achieving the desired results, consider changing your measures.

Don't worry about finding the perfect measures the first time.

It starts with focus.  Identify your goal and then break it down into critical success factors and then activities and measures. Once you know what to measure, you can identify data sources and design reports that provide the information you need. Rather than getting discouraged, donft be afraid to bring in experts in defining measures, designing reports, and optimizing your processes so you can make the most of the people and systems you have available. The right support system can often make the difference between paralysis and positive forward motion.


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