Finance & Accounting Resources

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Three Tips for Small Business Tax Preparation

Tax season is upon us. Is your small business ready? Tax season can be stressful, and it often seems as though it adds a lot of work for small business owners who are already balancing many different priorities. From dealing with human resources (HR) to marketing and operations initiatives, it seems easy to let tax preparation fall by the wayside. Luckily you are not alone. One of the biggest pieces of advice that Focused Energy can offer for small business tax preparation is simple: have processes in place year-round. Managing the right accounting tasks on an ongoing basis helps to always...

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Four Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced CFO During an Economic Downturn

During an economic downturn, finances are every small business owner's top concern. Consider, for example, the financial crisis of 2008. It brought the U.S. banking system to its knees and led to the loss of millions of jobs. Now, more than 10 years later, we're aware that history has shown that beyond a certain level, debt burdens become too heavy to bear. It's not clear what that debt level might be, when we can expect a correction in the market or how severe the next economic downturn could be. One thing, however, is clear – an outsourced Chief Financial...

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Build a Small Business Budget in Six Easy Steps

Operating a successful business is no easy task. It requires a great deal of time, energy, and extensive planning. One of most intimidating, yet essential, tasks that a business owner will undertake is the creation of a business budget. Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs dread it. Even so, they understand that creating and sticking to a business budget is critical for the company to succeed and grow. While you can create a business budget on your own, it might be advantageous for you to work with one of our accountants or business consultants. We can help you collect, interpret,...

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Free E-book: Cloud-Based Accounting Software

Download the guide Fill out this form to get access to the free e-book. We'll also email you a copy to your inbox! Fill out my online form. In this e-book you will learn: Why online accounting software is such a game changer for small businesses The pros and cons of each of the 11 most popular accounting enterprise resource planning (ERPs) Which applications are best suited for your business and why The best application add-ons to help you further customize your accounting Detailed and unbiased user insight Find the best online accounting software for your business with this...

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Bookkeepers of the Future

Why are bookkeepers important? Bookkeepers have always been an integral part of successful, growing businesses, but their value is often discounted. To someone without an accounting background, the profession may seem straightforward and fairly static. While it is true that the foundations of performing the business' accounting rarely changes, the bookkeeping profession has been constantly evolving and expanding. This is due to software innovations. Bookkeeping software helps to reduce the time it takes to record the business' income and expenses, while simultaneously improving the financial transparency and controls. Our team of bookkeepers and senior accountants ensure that you're always...

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Income Statement Confidence

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it more complicated" - Confucius What is the income statement? When it comes to financial reporting, there's nothing simpler than the income statement, which is also known as a P&L or profit and loss statement. On a basic level the report reflects total revenue and other income along with expenses and losses. The income statement provides a net profit or loss for any given period. Simple. The business world, has of course found ways to make this much more complicated. This report now has many different names, including the "statement...

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15 Critical Questions to Answer Before Talking to a Business Investor

Developing your idea - answering the must know questions One of the biggest challenges that new company founders come up against is knowing what questions to prepare for when raising money. This can also inform how you build your pitch deck to take to business investors. It isn't easy to get ready for these sessions. What you can do though, is to first and foremost, put yourself in their shoes. Think from a business investor's paradigm. What sort of things would you want to know if you were going to make a significant business investment? This is an iterative...

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Cash Flow Forecasting Template

Forecasting your cash flow can be a daunting adventure, one fraught with mistakes, uncertainty and confusion. It doesn't need to be. We've put together a cash flow template for you. Any business can use our template to get a handle on their cash flow on a week by week basis. This cash flow template will help you to foresee issues before they arise so that you can proactively manage them. Our cash flow template is annotated so that you can understand where to put things, how to forecast your cash, cost of goods sold (COGS), payroll, and operating expenses....

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Taming the Beast That is Financial Reporting

The journey to understanding - Part II In the first part of this series we looked at the sources of financial data that your business generates, how to see them, and most importantly how to understand some of the errors that are inherent within it. In this post we'll dive into analyzing your data to understand how you can derive information from it. We'll also touch on the presentation of this information in financial reports. The haloed ground of information salvation is what you're after. It is what will help you drive higher gross margins, lower your wasted product...

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Realizing the Importance of Cash Flow

Do you have a cash flow problem? Many early stage companies become hyper focused on metrics that drive revenue, such as sales and marketing.  Although these areas are important, the financial metric of cash flow should be watched carefully, especially in the early days of a company. According to a U.S. Bank study, 82 percent of business failures are due to poor cash management. Cash flow projections have two basic components, money coming in and money going out. Both are equally important but it takes careful accounting and constant monitoring to make sense of it. Making the sale doesn’t mean you have...

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