Want to know my biggest beef with QuickBooks? Well, really with the Intuit, “the makers of QuickBooks”. It’s the marketing. They constantly tell business owners that no accounting knowledge is necessary.
Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of the data entry could and should be done by administrative clerks or do it yourself business owners. I just think it’s a huge mistake to run a business based on incorrect financial information. If you don’t know accounting, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not getting accurate, helpful information from your books (garbage in, garbage out).
In this economy, business owners need to stay on top of their financials. That means actually using the data you entered into QuickBooks. However, if the QuickBooks data is wrong, you’re using bad information to make decisions.
Finally! Mac users can use QuickBooks online. Previously, QuickBooks Online only worked with internet explorer. This week, Intuit finally released the online version that works on Firefox and soon will work with Safari. Hip Hip Hooray! There’s now a multi-user QuickBooks version for mac users.
I’ve always hated being called a “nag”. I think my husband is actually the only person to ever say “STOP nagging me!” It seems I’m often put in the position of being the “nag” and I’ve always thought it was an awful character flaw.
Recently, I realized, I’m the work “nag” for a couple of my clients. I need to find a better word for it (please help me out with that). I tend to be drawn to clients who are unorganized, have a lot going on in their business lives, and are creative, big picture thinkers. Because of those characteristics, they rarely get to their list of “things to do for Kelly” in a timely manner.
Twice in the past week, I’ve followed up with these clients to nag them for the information I need to get them the information they need (and the appropriate government agencies too, of course). I follow up regularly with them because my strengths are the opposite of theirs. I’m great at organizing, details, and follow up.
FreshBooks® is an online invoicing system made for small businesses. I’ve been using FreshBooks for 8 months and I LOVE it. It really can make your business life easier.
I work with small business owners to help them get their accounts receivable under control. Very often, there is a stack of past due accounts receivable. I immediately question what’s happening. Generally, the answer is “I haven’t had time to follow up with them.” I immediately get to work on the follow up calls.
Most of the time (at least 80%), the customer responds “I never got that invoice”. There are a couple of ways FreshBooks will stop that response or at least give you ammunition. First, when you use FreshBooks to email your invoices, your customer has to click a link to view it. On your admin panel, you can see who logged in and what invoices they viewed (this shows up on your dashboard, so you see it immediately upon logging in). You will know if your customer is lying to you.
Here it is, are you ready? The number 1 way to get paid faster and increase your cash flow is VERY simple. INVOICE your clients! On time, accurately, and with all of the information they require. That’s it.
I cannot tell you how often I see businesses that are really struggling with cash flow, but they aren’t staying on top of the invoicing. Or, they are sending invoices that are not accurate or don’t contain the basics (like the customer purchase order number).
I’ve fallen behind on my blog posting (AGAIN!), but with good cause. I’ve been using my writing time to develop an ebook.
My new book “Cash is Cash: Strategies to Keep the Cash Flowing” is now available and it’s FREE. Go get it at: creativebusinesscashflow.com.
The book is less than 20 pages, but is jam packed with ideas for staying (or getting) off the cash flow roller coaster. Learn how to get paid faster, establish credit policies, build your business credit, handle a cash flow crisis, and more!
I think employee bonus programs are fantastic and every business should have one. I also think poorly designed bonus programs are bad for business. What I see, more often than not, are discretionary bonuses that are paid annually, usually around Christmas.
Here’s the main thing I cannot stand about the traditional Christmas bonus program: Employees who EXPECT a bonus. To me, a bonus is, well, a bonus. Bonuses are given to those who deserve them. But, the problem is not with the employees. Most of the time, they’ve just been conditioned (like Pavlov’s dog) to receive a bonus once a year whether they deserve it or not.
How do you set up a program that works for your business? It depends on your business, of course, but here are some things to consider: (more…)
I once worked with a small, growing business that had a couple of magnetic poetry kits on the refrigerator. Employees would make funny sentences on the refrigerator for all to enjoy. All was well and good until the company grew to a point that it needed a human resources manager.
Within a week of the new h.r. manager arriving, one word disappeared from the poetry set. It was the S-E-X word. This word never caused a problem with any of the employees. This particular group of employees was not known to be crude and I don’t believe that word was ever even used in a sentence. Apparently, the new human resources manager was afraid that it might cause a problem or tension and thought it best to just discreetly toss the word.