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I Will Help You Take Control of Your Finances and Boost Profits

If you answer no to any of the below questions, you are missing out on the opportunity to increase your profitablilty. I can help you take control of your finances which will ensure a hard cash return.

With over 20 years of experience in accounting, systems technology and project management, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. I will provide you with the tools and the insight to help you make informed business decisions that will quickly increase your bottom line.

You know how important excellent data management and analysis is to overall business success. In today’s business environment, you must keep careful track of trends in your business and be willing to change and set new directions based on fluctuating data. You also know how challenging and time-consuming it can be to manage your financial data on a day-to-day basis. Solomon Financial Consulting will take care of the details so you can focus on your core expertise.

 

I Can Free You Up to Focus on What You Do Best!

 

Together We Will Strategize Dynamic
Ways to Grow Your Business

Knowledge is power. Once I have hard data on your business, I will convert it into high quality meaningful reports customized to fit your business needs. My analysis of these reports will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions and grow your business.


Top Reasons to Outsource

Why outsource your bookkeeping? To save you from headaches, free up your time and so much more!
  1. You’ve got better things to do than the books. Think about the hours you spend on record keeping and trying to do the books yourself. We will get the work done in less time than it takes you to do it, freeing you up to work on your billable time or building your business.
  2. Peace of mind. You can sleep better at night knowing that your books are taken care of by accounting professionals, reflecting a true picture of the financial health of your business. At a moment’s notice, you can provide accurate and up-to-date financial information to bankers, investors or even auditors.
  3. More cash in your pocket. We can help better manage the cash flow of your business, helping you pay your bills on time and make the best use of the cash coming into your business.
  4. Save money. A virtual bookkeeper saves money over an in-house bookkeeper once you factor in office space, payroll costs, health insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, benefits, and the cost to oversee an employee.
  5. Better collection on receivables. Not only can we bill your clients, but also we can follow-up with friendly reminders and no-nonsense collection efforts. We can make sure you get paid for your services while still maintaining an amicable relationship with your clients.
  6. Better information on the financial health of your business. Are you wondering why all of your sales aren’t turning into more profits? Are you wondering which segment of your business is the most profitable? Accurate financial information helps answer these questions and more, helping you make intelligent business decisions.
  7. Save on resources. We provide our own hardware, software and back-up resources.
  8. Get that loan. If you’ve ever applied for a bank loan, you know that having accurate financial information is key.  We can even help you prepare the necessary cash flow projections for your business plan.
  9. Be prepared for April 15th.  When your books are accurate and up-to-date, you no longer have to fear Tax Day. More importantly, you’ll be prepared to claim every tax deduction that you deserve and some you might not even know about.

Your Business Could Use a Bookkeeper If…

Do you ever feel like doing this?

  • You are frequently paying late fees for missing the due dates on your credit cards.
  • You have independent contractors and aren’t sure how to track their payments for 1099 reporting at year-end.
  • You have to check with the bank to see how much money is in your account.
  • You check caller ID when the phone rings to see if it’s another collection call.
  • You’re not entirely sure who owes you money.
  • Your year-end tax bill was bigger than you expected.
  • You have to pay a CPA to prepare financial statements so you can get a new bank loan.
  • You would rather be selling or consulting or doing-what-you-do than crunching numbers.

What Every Start-Up Should Know About Social Responsibility

Environmentalists and Business Owners are not mutually exclusive.

From ventureneer.com – March, 17, 2011

“Even Walmart is going green … which tells you that it isn’t just about being altruistic; it’s good business.

From the day you put finger to keyboard to type up your business plan, think green. It will save you trouble in the long run and money from the get-go.  That’s good business, whether you’re big or small, experienced or a start-up.

If you look around, you’ll see that many businesses are greening up, surprising ones. Who’d have thought that National Geographic would still be, um, un-green. Yet it was because it didn’t look at its whole operation for green possibilities. In its case, the green-up was modification of food service to its 1,000 or so employees. Fair trade, locally grown, and organic food along with compostable and/or recycled paper products.

At the end of the year, food costs were lower.

Start-ups and entrepreneurs can save that money by greening their business plan from the start.

  • Look for suppliers that are sustainable. Check out their supply lines. You may be able to use this clean alliance to get business.
  • Check out energy options.
  • Buy energy-saving equipment, from light bulbs to computers to the production line.
  • Look at every phase of your business, every department, for recycling, reusing, and less impact processes from using only double-sided printing to turning off computers at night.
  • Think about the cloud instead of onsite, electricity-sucking equipment.
  • Build fair pay and save working conditions into your plan. Pay may start low but plan a living wage as the business grows.
  • Set up procedures for employee involvement and feedback. Be prepared to listen. You’ll hear some things that can really help your business.
  • Include outreach to the community in your plan. How can you give back even before you have cash to donate?
  • Develop low-impact packaging, using the least amount of material to contain your product safely.
  • Furnish your store with recycled, low-impact decor.
  • Check out all the rebates and tax credits you might qualify for.
  • Most important: Set clear ethical standards that define the way you do business, treat employees, and relate to customers. Make sure all employees know that you really mean it.
  • Look around for like-minded business owners. You may find business partnerships, customers, and people who can help you solve problems as they arise.

Greening your business plan actually is a way to trim long-term costs, improve employee satisfaction, and give you a marketing edge with both retail and B2B customers. Now that’s getting off to a good start!

What have you done to green your business plan? How has it helped your business? What obstacles have you encountered on the way to a greener business?”

By Geri Stengel, President, Ventureneer

IRS to Audit Sole Proprietors More Carefully

A report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the government agency responsible for providing independent oversight of the IRS, recommended steps the IRS could take in order to better detect unreported income while performing audits of sole proprietors.

IRS auditors already do a number of checks to look for unreported income, such as examining the “cost” of the sole proprietor’s lifestyle to see if his/her reported income would be able to support it.  If you’re driving a brand-new BMW but reporting $20,000 in net business profit as your sole source of income, you should expect a lot of tough questions!

The new test being recommended includes a more sophisticated analysis of tax return data and the proprietor’s reported personal expenses to determine if they are roughly equal.

If you operate your business as a sole proprietorship, your best defense against an audit is thorough documentation of both your gross revenue and your business deductions.  The following post can assist you.

Should You Give IRS Your QuickBooks?

Did you know that the IRS could now require you to produce your QuickBooks company file if your business is being audited?  This started happening in late 2010 and the practice is only going to grow. How to protect yourself in the event of an audit?

  • Review your own books.  It only makes sense to go through your own books first and see if there are any red flags.  Comb through all Checks and Credit Card charges to look for all personal expenses.  Sometimes business owners grab the wrong card out of their purse or wallet.  Better for you to go ahead and re-categorize these transactions as “Owner’s Draw” or “Advance to Shareholder” now, rather than waiting for an auditor to find them.
  • Back up your QB file at the end of each year so that each year is in its own QB Backup file.  Previous years should be “condensed” first so that the only data the auditor can see is the year under audit.  This prevents any “fishing expeditions” by your friendly IRS auditor.

From Forbes.com – 6/03/2011

“No, not usually.  In fact, you might think it’s silly to contemplate it.  Why make it easy for the IRS to mine your own data?  But the IRS is increasingly asking and it’s unclear how the fisticuffs will end up.  See Small Businesses Fight IRS Over Data.

You want to cooperate, but you don’t want to turn over data hurting your business or provoking audits of other areas the IRS isn’t considering.  If you express concern to the IRS that your off-the-shelf software has lots in it you aren’t comfortable disclosing, the IRS can choose to issue a summons.  That could mean you can fight about it in court.

The IRS told the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) it needs electronic business records.  Could this mean customer lists, personnel data and more?  How the IRS will use it is troubling, especially if you’re not sure what you have embedded in your software.

There’s nothing new about the IRS wanting electronic data, but usually such inquiries involve big businesses.  Small businesses are defined as those with assets less than $10 million, and they often use off-the-shelf software such as QuickBooks.  In contrast, big businesses usually have customized accounting systems that facilitate providing the IRS only with what they want.

In a letter to the IRS, AICPA proposed allowing companies to redact software to release only relevant data.  Although there’s some informal precedent, the IRS rejected the request.  The IRS suggests that small businesses should back-up at year end, limiting IRS access to one year at a time.  The IRS also said it would allow businesses to reduce the detail for years not under audit.

Yet fears remain.  Unless the IRS relents, small business owners may decline to provide it–and see if the IRS issues a summons–or simply turn it over and hope for the best.”

By Robert W. Wood, Contributor

IRS Increases Mileage Rate to 55.5 cents per Mile

Starting July 1st, 2011, your business miles are going to be a lot more valuable. For every mile you drive, the IRS will let you write off 55.5 cents, up from 51 cents for January 1st through June 30th. What does this mean for you?

  • Capture every deductible mile! Yes, that means keeping a mileage log and using it regularly, but think about all those trips that you might be missing. Running deposits in to the bank, dropping off mail at the post office, even making an office supply run.  Track all these trips in your mileage log and you’ll be adding $55.50 of deductible business expenses to your books for every 100 miles you drive.
  • Be very careful to track mileage for January 1st through June 30th separately from mileage for July 1st and beyond. The increase in the deductible mileage rate is only applicable to miles driven on July 1st and later.
  • While you’re tracking your mileage, be sure to capture miles driven for charitable purposes. These might include miles driven to PTA meetings or other nonprofit groups, miles driven to donate used household goods, or even miles driven to volunteer for a benefit walk or for the starting point for a charitable bike ride (my favorite is the Battle Against Hunger – BattleAgainstHunger.org).  For example, if you drive to your church/synagogue/masque to provide volunteer office work once every week, you can deduct the round-trip mileage at the “Charitable Contribution” rate of 14 cents per mile.

The IRS stated that the increased mileage rate was a direct result of the increased gas prices that we’ve experience this year.

Too hip for a paper mileage log?  The App Store on lists several mileage apps, including MileBugMileTracker and Trip Cubby, all for less than $5.

From IR-2011-69 – June 23, 2011

“WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.

The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011, as set forth in Revenue Procedure 2010-51.

In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.

“This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in gas prices,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We are taking this step so the reimbursement rate will be fair to taxpayers.”

While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.

The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.

The new rates are contained in Announcement 2011-40 on the optional standard mileage rates.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Mileage Rate Changes

Purpose

Rates 1/1 through 6/30/11 

  Rates 7/1 through 12/31/11 

Business

51

55.5

  Medical/Moving

19

23.5

Charitable

14

14

“Make Better Use of Facts About Your Customers”

For 2011, QuickBooks has enhanced its “Customer Snapshot”.  The new snapshot provides critical information in one convenient location to quickly ascertain: 

  • Receivable information
  • Recent Invoices
  • Recent Payments
  • Sales History
  • Best Selling Items

Other information in the “snapshot” readily available:

  • Number of years they have been a customer
  • Average days to pay
  • Open balance
  • Credit limit
  • Sales Summary – where you select the period
  • Total Sales
  • Total Sales for same period last year

Don’t forget the information you currently have in addition to the tips mentioned in the article below.

From BusinessWeek.com – July 22, 2011

“Review the impression you are sending customers and prospects at all touch points and make sure your message is clear and consistent. In addition, make sure you have the ability to collect data at each of these touch points. This includes your sales team, call centers, website, point of sale, e-mail communication, blogs, direct mail, promotional campaigns, advertising, shipping and fulfillment departments, and social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. This critical exchange of information will allow you to put together the pieces of your customer profiles.

As you collect facts, make sure this data leads to knowledge creation and a better understanding of the evolving needs of your customers and prospects. An essential element that separates successful companies from struggling ones is their ability to turn facts about customers’ needs into knowledge that can be used to make sound business decisions. Facts and knowledge are vastly different. Facts alone cannot help you grow your business. You need to turn those facts—the raw data—into knowledge by adding your own analysis and research, and then use this knowledge to create value for your business.”

By Beth Goldstein, President, Marketing Edge Consulting Group, Boston

10 Reasons Why You Should Use QuickBooks

QuickBooks is “THE” business accounting software for “small to mid-sized business owners. 

Let us take care of the books so you can get back to running your business!

Here are 10 reasons why you should be using QuickBooks.

  1. QuickBooks saves you time and paperwork because many of the accounting journals are handled automatically, making it easier to run your business.
  2. QuickBooks easily generate reports with the information you need, so you always know where your business stands.
  3. QuickBooks saves you money because it is so affordable.  You can use it to run a $5 million or a $25 million business for a few hundred dollars.
  4. QuickBooks can help you grow your business.  It can be instrumental in designing a business plan to use when trying to secure a small business loan, a line of credit or planning for the future.
  5. QuickBooks allows you to customize the way you want it to work, and is specifically designed to be flexible to a wide range of businesses.  QuickBooks has recently added customized accounting packages for Contractors, Retailers and Non-Profit organizations.
  6. QuickBooks, with its extensive user base allows you to rest assured knowing that it is a stable, reliable and proven product serving hundreds of thousands of small business throughout the world.
  7. QuickBooks save you inputting time and eliminates errors since it shares data between Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, ACT and dozens of other applications.
  8. QuickBooks allows you to get paid faster with online payment processing.  Simply e-mail an invoice or a statement and with QuickBooks Online Billing, your customer can easily pay you with a credit card or bank account transfer.  No more waiting for the check in the mail.
  9. QuickBooks allows you to easily accept Credit Cards.  QuickBooks Merchant Account Service is the credit card acceptance service integrated with QuickBooks software, which means you don’t have to enter the same data twice, and no additional software or hardware is required.  Your customers can use all major credit cards.
  10. QuickBooks allows you to bank online as well as pay your vendors electronically, and synching your data with the bank is easy with QuickBooks.
Save up to 35% on the newest version of QuickBooks products. Call or email me to find out how at 973.615.6121 or bill@billsolo.com.