Is The Amex Platinum Worth The Yearly Fee latest 2023

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The Easy Accounting Method

Tax time is near and that pile of receipts in your shoebox will only fade a little more each day. Now is the time to use a simple system and get your home and business books in order. You have to clear that box before April 15 anyway, so as the saying goes, it’s time to gobble the big frog first.

As with all successful endeavors in life, a little bit of work each day or week makes the job a whole lot easier. The hard part is creating the habit every day or every week in order to get the job done. You eat a roast one bite at a time so why are you trying to manage a year of receipts on April 14 when you’re on hold with the Turbo Tax Helpline trying to figure out why the facility hasn’t worked. Let’s start eating last year’s roast now, and let’s start with our 2010 roast as well.

The system is very simple, and the hardest part is getting people to hang out every day. One of the paradoxes of organizing is that you get more time. When you have more time, you are tempted to take on more work and, at some point, lose your connection to the habit that created the time. I jump in place and yell and yell at business owners when they do this. A well-run business is like a well-designed watch. It doesn’t take much effort to make the business run well when it is well managed.

This is exactly the system we have built for our customers. You can send us an envelope with your receipts and a check or you can follow this simple system.

Are you ready for this?

The three main things to do are:

1. Buy the material,

2. Configure the system and

3. Start building your habits.

If all goes well, spring 2011 tax season will be as simple as:

1. Install turbo tax,

2. Fill in your information,

3. Import data from Quicken or Quickbooks and

4. Click e-File.

1. Buy the equipment. 3-5 hours total if you go to Office Depot, less if you shop online.

First you need a computer. A mac is OK, unfortunately Quickbooks is much better on the PC for some reason, and so everything here is PC related. If you own a business, you can get a small HP PC and use it just for accounting and the costs won’t be so high even if you are a Mac store.

The next thing you need is the software, I admit, although we are not a “certified” Quickbooks partner, but Quicken and Quickbooks are the only solution. They really should send me a haircut.

The second thing you need is a scanner. Neat receipts used to be a requirement for our customers, but the new Quicken has an attachment feature allowing you to scan the copy of important receipts directly to the Quicken line item with a right click and scan. The HP 6100 series all-in-one printer-scanners have been tested, as have the large xerox all-in-one network scanners, and they work well.

Finally, you need three or twelve file folders. I like simplicity, so three is enough, and if you want more, you can use all twelve. My goal as a business coach and environmentalist is to aim for a paperless office. Less storage means more efficient use of office space and less waste.

So the shopping list really is that simple, and you can probably use what you already have if you want.

1. Small PC 2GB RAM suggested, scanners are slow if you have less, with monitor and keyboard. If you can afford it and have the office space, get a Quad Core PC and two 24″ monitors. We love HP and Samsung monitors. If you’re considering hiring someone, get smaller monitors for easier remote access.

2. Copy of Quicken (Home Use), or Quicken Home and Business (Small Home Business) or QuickBooks (You have an office and 1 or more employees)

3. Scanner, (suggest the network is ready for you to expand)

4. Three Pak of file folders.

It’s all the equipment, software and materials you need to run the system. Not too bad, is it?

Configure the system. 2-3 hours

If your PC is new, most of the time can end up setting up the PC. Quicken and Quickbooks both load fairly quickly, as do most scanning apps. After loading Quicken or Quickbooks on your PC, start by entering your company information. The only question you need to know now is “Cash” or “Accrual”. If you’re just starting out, consider selecting cash accounting, you can always switch to accrual later. If you find you have to go the other way, it’s much harder. One of our advisers says this: “Your books should be ‘cash’ based, your deposit with the IRS should be ‘booked’.” Quickbooks allows you to do this.

Next, it’s time to connect your checking, savings, and credit cards to your Quicken or Quickbooks software so the automatic updates work. This greatly reduces the workload and will pay for the software in weeks. If you haven’t, I suggest you stop here and separate your home and office credit cards. I realize this is overkill, I have two American Express credit cards and two Master Cards. One for home and one for the office. This makes life much easier when sorting receipts.

Test the scanner to make sure the accounting software will communicate with the scanner.

Here is the process as we run it first for our clients, and then for my household.

Start the habits. 1-2 hours per week, 8 extra hours at the end of the year to do everything tax included if you follow this.

The first step in making the system easy to use is to convert every possible supplier and invoice online or electronically. Emailing your invoices and accepting ACH (electronic) payments from your customers reduces your paperwork clutter right away.

The next step is credit card receipts. Every time you buy something, write the tax code or customer line right at the top. For example, every time I have a sale meal, I write 50% Meal at the top. If I have a staff meal, I write 100% meal at the top. If I stop at a big box store and buy parts for a customer, I write COGS-Customer Name.

As a business owner or manager, you need to understand some basic accounting concepts. COGS or cost of goods sold is one such concept and knowing the legal difference between 50% meal and 100% meal is another. The list really isn’t that long, and most are pretty obvious, like fuel and vehicle maintenance. A little practice and it becomes second nature. If you want to make things like fuel easier, get a fuel-only credit card for every company vehicle and that item is automated too.

At the end of each day or the beginning of each day, depending on your choice, all receipts are placed in an envelope which is sent to us each Friday, for you, choose one day per week to schedule an hour or so to get them. seized receipts. All your checks also go in this envelope. The three records are for the current month and the receipts for the past two months.

When you sit down, here’s the checklist for the inbox every week. If you have a very small business, you could try monthly, but my experience is that no one can create a “monthly” habit since invoices are due on a different day of the week each month.

1. Run all banking updates

2. Compare all receipts to bank upload and accept.

3. Any receipts that are not uploaded go back in the envelope for the next week

4. All receipts that may be returnable or of high value are scanned and attached to the Quickbooks entry line.

5. All receipts go in the month folder

6. If this is a new month, all receipts are shredded and the folder moved to the front for the current month. If you haven’t returned it within 90 days, you probably won’t, and it’s important that you have a scanned copy anyway.

7. Pay all bills due that week, print any necessary checks, and attempt to obtain electronic payments for these vendors.

8. Deposit all checks received on the same day entered.*

If you do a high volume of credit cards or large checks, you will need to create an account for “undeposited funds”. When you take out a credit card or a big check, it can take five days or more before you can actually spend the money. The best way to avoid trouble here is to use the undeposited funds account to track the money until it clears your account.

That’s it. If you want to see how your business is doing, take a look at the “Cash” and “Accrual” reports. You need to know both to understand what your business does. If you don’t know how to read reports, pay a consultant or accountant to spend a few hours helping you. Content is not that difficult if you take a little time to learn how to read it. Knowing how to read your reports could save your business.

As your business grows, this system can be taught to some fairly basic employees. As long as you keep track of weekly reports, you’ll notice if someone is doing funny deals with your money, just like you notice mismatched receipts. Every business owner needs to keep an eye on their books. Like I said, I’ve noticed employees charging gas for their personal car when no one else does. I also noticed that one employee was using a lot more yarn than the other employees and found him on a Sunday doing “side work” with our yarn.

For your home accounting, the system is pretty much the same, but we run it monthly. The first Saturday is our “financial day”. Whether we work or not, we spend this night doing it and looking at our past month and our present month. You will be surprised at what you find. We found that my two favorite self-service restaurants added a dollar and rounded up to the highest dollar. For example, if I bought a pizza for $12.21, my credit card would be charged $14.00. Sorry folks, I don’t tip when ordering at the counter and drinking from my own table. Being charged another dollar and changing without everyone knowing is not cool.

Recently, we realized that several vendors we had used that had instructed us to use PayPal were charging an “extra”. Unlike regular credit cards which prohibit the practice, PayPal does not and even has a line for it. As a business owner I like it, as a sorry customer we’ll use AMEX and I’ll take the miles. You never know what you’ll find.

When you look at this process, it looks like the bookkeeping could be handled by a teenager. The truth is, with the right setup, a teenager can do your accounting, just keep an eye on the books, or you could end up spending a lot of money on iTunes.

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