If you’re starting a service business, you may have concluded that it makes sense for you to charge a retainer up-front. When dealing with small business or individuals, charging a retainer can help you make sure you don’t get stuck with invoices you have trouble getting paid. Maybe your clients ran out of cash unexpectedly or maybe they decided the agreed upon work wasn’t actually what they wanted and refused to pay. In any case, work you perform has a cost associated with it so covering yourself to prevent losing money on deals is a top priority. If you can’t collect more cash than you spend, your business will face certain death, no matter how popular your offering. [Read more…]
I asked a bunch of accountants about their favorite financial calculator and this is what they said*: [Read more…]
Someone recently sent me a question asking about tips for managing finances for small business owners looking to expand. Small business owners looking to expand face the same fundamental finance problem any other business faces – how to invest in your business while making sure you have enough cash to pay your bills.
You might think that sounds obvious, but if it was so straightforward we wouldn’t have 50% of businesses failing by year 4. Businesses fail for one reason – they run out of money. Unfortunately, running out of money is a symptom of many possible problems and doesn’t necessarily indicate mismanagement of finances.
You’re proud a bunch of people actually thought it worth while to give you money for the product or service you sell.
It’s the number you can reach out and touch to make you feel like all your hard work yielded real results.
That sweet, sweet validation reinforces everything you did so you keep it up going forward.
And that’s exactly the problem. [Read more…]
If you literally died in your office, how long do you think it would take before people noticed you punched out…for good? More than two days I hope. [Read more…]
Do you believe an average student can become a good accountant?
That was all the message I received this morning said. No context, no nothing. I ignored it at first and then considered writing an equally short response of “it depends,” but thought there are probably other people questioning if they can go from “average” student to rockstar accountant. [Read more…]
A new intern recently reached out to me to ask some questions about my career path. One of the organizations we work with (LEAD Program) was hoping to have testimonials from people in the accounting field. Specifically, they wanted to increase exposure to the youth about how attractive the profession can be.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that LEAD was the reason I pursued accounting in the first place (I talked about that briefly here).
The email I got asked a couple questions and was looking for just a short blurb, but one thing inspired me to expand on my initial thoughts. He asked how I transitioned from accountant to advisor. While I didn’t see the two as different things before, the question made me reconsider my position. You can read what I concluded here:
I was considering doing a post on whether or not you should switch to Quickbooks online this week, but I got an email that changed my direction. I recently wrote about how entrepreneurs need to learn accounting, and as if they read my mind, Intuit sends an email for a new version of Quickbooks. It’s called Quickbooks Self-Employment and to be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what it did. Given Quickbook’s position in the bookkeeping software market, it seemed like a good idea to know what they were up to, so I decided to give it a spin. [Read more…]
I live in the San Francisco bay area, land of the start-up, the place where people quit full-time jobs to chase the dream of being bought out by Facebook and never working again. Who can blame these budding entrepreneurs? Every time you turn your tv on, Facebook is either buying or trying to buy some young, unproven company for billions of dollars. Consistently seeing such a lack of buyer’s discretion from cash-heavy potential suitors just makes the dream seem all the more plausible.
So where do you start on this journey to Escape From Cubicle Nation?
First, you need to understand it takes more than just a good idea to run a successful business. No matter what kind of entrepreneur you are, there are some basic accounting things you or someone you hire needs to know to keep your business from imploding.